20 soldiers wounded in clash with Sayyaf in Basilan
MANILA, Philippines – Twenty soldiers from the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion were wounded in a series of encounters with Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan early Friday.
The soldiers were planning to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Furuji Indama and his men who tried to threaten and extort from the ongoing construction of the Magkawa-Albarka Road, a report from the Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command said.
The clash erupted in Unkaya Pukan town at 2:25 a.m. The soldiers fought about 60 members of the Abu Sayyaf.
The firefight left 18 soldiers injured and two more sustained serious injuries. The ASG had undetermined number of casualties.
The wounded soldiers were airlifted to Zamboanga City past 6 a.m.
The Abu Sayyaf is occupying school buildings in Baguindan village, field reports said.
The operations also intended to clear the areas of Tipo-Tipo and Al-Barka of the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, which is believed to be responsible for extortion and kidnapping cases in the restive Mindanao region.
Wesmincom said it “will commit all available air and Naval assets in support to these operations in order to immediately seize this group of criminals/bandits.”
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