AFP, Abu Sayyaf clash in Sulu: 11 soldiers killed, 14 others wounded
MANILA, Philippines – A firefight between the military and terrorist group Abu Sayyaf in Patikul, Sulu, on Friday afternoon killed 11 soldiers and wounded 14 others, Western Mindanano Command chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said.
“This afternoon, we lost 11 brave soldiers and 14 others were injured while securing the people of Sulu from the cruelty of the Abu Sayyaf,” Sobejana said in a report.
He also said that the soldiers involved in the nearly an hour gun battle with the bandits in Barangay Danagwere from the Delta Company’s 21st Infantry Battalion.
According to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, flags in all military camps nationwide would be placed at half-mast to honor fallen Army men.
“The entire Armed Forces of the Philippines mourns today, and our flags in all military camps around the country will be flown at half-mast as 11 Army heroes offered their lives at past 3 P.M. to protect and defend the people of Sulu,” he said.
Arevalo also clarified that the firefight occurred during a military pursuit operation, after two major encounters against the Abu Sayyaf.
“This pursuit operation that also had 14 troopers wounded-in-action followed two major encounters the previous days where our soldiers inflicted heavy casualties to the enemy (killed and wounded) in both armed engagements. High powered firearms were also seized by our operating units,” he noted.
“The operations are still ongoing, according to MGEN Corleto Vinluan, the Commander of the Army 11th Infantry Division based in Sulu,” he added. “AFP Chief General Felimon Santos, Jr. expresses his condolences to the family of our fallen heroes. He ensures that all necessary assistance will be extended to their loved ones.”
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