THREE Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed while two firearms were recovered in a clash with pursuing government forces in the hinterlands of Sulu, a top military official announced Saturday.
Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said the troops were on combat patrol when they clashed with 20 Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Radullan Sahiron around 2:30 p.m. Friday at Sitio Buling-Buling in the village of Su-uh, Old Panamao town.
Sahiron, known as the one-armed bandit leader, is the oldest among the remaining leaders of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
Sobejana said the firefight lasted for about 10 minutes after which the ASG members fled to different directions leaving behind their slain comrades.
He identified them as the following: Peping Jamalul, brother-in-law of Sahiron; Aldi Abtahi, son of ASG sub-leader Amlon; and, Nelson Rajak.
He said the remains of the slain ASG members were turned over to the village officials for proper disposition.
He said the troops have recovered from the clash site one M-16 Armalite rifle and one caliber .45 pistol with ammunition.
Sobejana attributed the latest combat success against the group to the local government units and residents of Panamao who pinpointed their location.
“We are grateful not just to them but to all peace-loving Tausugs who are positively responding to our call to end terrorism in Sulu,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)