5 Abus slain, scores hurt in Zamboanga Sibugay clash | Inquirer News

5 Abus slain, scores hurt in Zamboanga Sibugay clash

/ 11:35 AM September 09, 2020

Updated @ 2:31 a.m., Sept. 10, 2020

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — Government forces on Wednesday cordoned off a fishing village in Roseller T. Lim town, Zamboanga Sibugay province, after a firefight with suspected Abu Sayyaf members that killed five people and wounded scores others, including two soldiers and five civilians.


Mayor Danilo Piodena of Roseller T. Lim said villagers were prevented from leaving or entering the fishing community of Purok Limuno, where 30 armed Abu Sayyaf members from Basilan province arrived on three pump boats early Wednesday. Limuno is part of the town’s Barangay President Roxas, where five families had taken refuge.

“No one is allowed to leave, no one is allowed to get in,” said Piodena, who expressed concern over 50 families believed trapped in the area.


Piodena said he was worried that the armed men might have taken the families as human shields as the military pounded the area with air strikes to flush out the bandits.

Residents of Limuno were roused from sleep on Wednesday dawn when they heard nonstop bursts of gunfire.

Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, commander of the Army’s 102nd Brigade based in Zamboanga Sibugay, said the battle started at 2 a.m., shortly after soldiers were told about the armed men’s arrival.

Two soldiers wounded in the clash were airlifted to Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga City. Both were reported to be in stable condition.

Soldiers recovered five bodies believed to be those of Abu Sayyaf members and some high-powered firearms.

“We delivered air support [for our soldiers] against the armed group,” Nicolas said, adding that the operation started on Sept. 6 in Alicia town, Zamboanga Sibugay, in a suspected hideout of Furuji Indama, a Dawlah Islamiya (DI)-Abu Sayyaf leader based in Basilan. Indama has a warrant of arrest for his involvement in the Dos Palmas kidnapping in Palawan province in 2001.

The operation resulted in a 30-minute clash at Sitio Tubigsina in Barangay La Paz, Alicia, where one Abu Sayyaf member was killed.


Nicolas said military intelligence had uncovered the group’s plan to launch kidnapping activities in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

In October last year, British Allan Arthur Hyrons and his Filipino wife, Wilma, were abducted in their resort in Tukuran town in nearby Zamboanga del Sur province.

After nearly two months in captivity, the two were rescued by soldiers after a firefight with Abu Sayyaf members in Parang town, Sulu province.

—With a report from Jeannette I. Andrade


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TAGS: abu sayyaf, Firefight, Government troops, Military, Zamboanga Sibugay
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