Gov’t troops kill 5 suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu
ZAMBOANGA CITY — Five suspected Abu Sayyaf members were killed while seven government troopers were wounded during an hour-long clash on Bud Pawis in Old Panamao, Sulu on Sunday.
Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., the commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said the clash started at around 4:15 a.m.as government troops were conducting operation to secure kidnap victims being held by Abu Sayyaf leaders, Sansibar Bensio and Hatib Munap Binda.
Col. Armel Tolato, the commander of the Marines Ready Force in Sulu, told the Inquirer they were trying to rescue, in particular, Filipino kidnap victim Jade Quimpo.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, the commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, said the bandits encountered by elements of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 3 (MBLT3) headed by Lt. Col. Ramil Densing numbered about 30.
He said the operation actually started on Saturday evening.
“Upon arrival in the area, our troops were fired upon by the enemy, resulting in an exchange of gun fire,” Sobejana said.
Sobejana said the bandits eventually withdrew and were still being pursued by ground troops.
Tolato identified the five slain bandits as Mikdad Juhurim, Annib Black, Tasom Hammiri, Undil Hussin, and a certain Roger.
He said pursuing troopers also recovered firearms and ammunition.
Tolato said four of the wounded troopers had been flown to this city due to severe injuries. The three others suffered minor wounds, he said.
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