Soldier wounded in April 17 Sulu clash dies
ZAMBOANGA CITY –– A squad leader of the Army’s 21st Infantry Battalion died while being treated for injuries, becoming the 12th fatality of the April 17 armed encounter against the Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Patikul, Sulu.
Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said Staff Sergeant Alexander Bolesa, 40, died last Monday while undergoing medical treatment at Ciudad Medical Center.
Bolesa suffered bullet wounds in different parts of his body following a fierce hourlong gunfight.
“We mourn the loss of another comrade and sympathize with the bereaved family of Bolesa,” Sobejana said.
Bolesa’s remains were flown to Abra on Tuesday via a C295 Air Force cargo plane.
Sobejana said the Armed Forces prays for Bolesa’s family, including his four children, “for strength during this time of loss of a brave soldier who fought for peace.”
The unit of Bolesa clashed with some 40 bandits while pursuing top Abu leader Radullan Sahiron inside his jungle lair.
Initially, 11 were killed in action, including a junior officer, 1st Lt. Rogelio Deligerio Jr., of Samar.
Fourteen, including Bolesa, were injured.
Bolesa and another soldier were airlifted into the city from Sulu due to the critical wounds they sustained during the clash.
Sobejana assured sustainability in the military’s security operations and ensure austere enforcement of quarantine in the area of operations in Sulu.
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