FOUR suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed while at least five others were wounded in an encounter with the government forces in Patikul, Sulu, on Saturday, a military official said on Sunday, December 8.
In a statement, the Joint Task Force Sulu (JTF) said members of the 32nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army was figured in a gunfight with at least 40 armed rebels under ASG sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan in Barangay Kabbon Takas around 1:40 p.m.
Brigadier General Antonio Nafarrete, commander of 1101st Brigade said there were bloodstains and spotted crumbs of human flesh in the escape routes of the enemy which indicates “enormous casualties” aside from the bodies found in the encounter site.
Nafarrete, however, commended the information given by the communities which resulted in the neutralization of the rebels.
"Hence, we are very grateful for the information fed by the civilians regarding the presence of armed bandits in their communities," he said.
Seized following the encounter were an M16 rifle while the other firearms were taken by the fleeing bandits.
However, a soldier was also killed in the firefight with four others were wounded.
"The untimely death of one of our soldiers in today’s armed encounter will never weaken our spirits in our fight against terrorism. His ultimate sacrifice will inspire and motivate us to hunt down the remaining ASG in Sulu," JTF Sulu Commander Major General Corleto Vinluan Jr. said. (SunStar Philippines)