More than 100 families flee homes as armed men storm Sulu village
ZAMBOANGA CITY — Fear gripped residents of the island of Simisa (locally known as Simussah) in Barangay Bakaan in Banguingui (Tongkil) town of Sulu when more than 30 armed men stormed the village on Monday, February 24.
Banguingui town mayor Whajid Sahidulla told the Inquirer that the armed men belonged to the Ajang-ajang and the Abu Sayyaf groups, but one of the men was killed in a firefight that ensued. Two others were arrested three days later.
He said the Philippine Marines had surrounded the island and people had been evacuating for fear of being caught in a crossfire.
Sahidulla said more than 100 families fled their homes and were being given reliefs by local officials.
He said that bandits were trapped in the mangrove areas of Simisa Island.
Rear Admiral Rene Medina, commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao (Navforwem), identified the arrested persons as Nurlinda Sulaiman and husband, Abdu Mohammad.
The ASG couple were apprehended during the follow-up operations by the 62nd Marine Company of the Force Reconnaissance Group at the vicinity of Suba, also of Simisa Island.
“We were able to recover their five small watercraft (pump boats) which were used by Abu leader Salip Mura in escaping government forces,” Medina said.
He added that the couple was detained at the Marine Battalion Landing 1 Tactical Command post in Banguingui town. /ee
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