FOUR Abu Sayyaf bandits and a soldier were killed, while nine others were wounded, in a clash in the province of Sulu, military officials said.
Brigadier General Antonio Nafarrete, Army’s 1101st Infantry Brigade commander, said the clash took place around 1:40 p.m., Saturday, December 7, at Sitio Tambang in the village of Kabbon Takas, Patikul, Sulu.
Nafarrete said the clash broke out when the troops of the Army’s 32nd Infantry Battalion chanced upon some 40 Abu Sayyaf bandits under bandit sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan while checking the presence of the bandits at Sitio Tambang in the village of Kabbon Takas as reported by the civilians.
Nafarrete said the Abu Sayyaf bandits fled following a 30-minute firefight.
Nafarrete said the residents informed the troops that four Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed while five others were wounded.
He said the troops have recovered the remains of one of the four slain Abu Sayyaf bandits. The cadaver was subjected to forensic investigation.
He said also recovered at the clash site were one M-16 Armalite rifle, food stuff, kitchen utensils and other personal belongings of the bandits.
He disclosed that a soldier was killed and four others were wounded and rushed to Camp Bautista Station Hospital for treatment.
“The spotted crumbs of human flesh and bloodstains in the encounter site is indicative of ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) enormous casualties other than the cadaver recovered. Hence, we are very grateful for the information fed by the civilians regarding the presence of armed bandits in their communities,” Nafarrete said.
Major General Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said the ASG has no more safe haven in Sulu “as the Peace-loving Tausugs are now very active in reporting their presence wherever they go.”
“The untimely death of one of our soldiers in Saturday’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. The ASG maneuver space is dwindling. Hence, they now have to surrender or be killed by our operating forces,” Vinluan said. (Sunstar Philippines)