9 Abu Sayyaf, 7 soldiers die in Sulu clashes
MANILA, Philippines—Abu Sayyaf members and seven soldiers died while 13 others were wounded in fighting between government troops and Islamic extremists in Sulu Thursday, a military official said.
A junior officer from the Philippine Marines died during the initial clash after his troops clashed with an undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf members in Barangay Kagay, Patikul, Sulu at 6:20 Thursday morning, said Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala, public affairs office chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Six soldiers from the Philippine Army were killed 10 minutes later when the Islamist group fired an 81 mm mortar round into their detachment in Brgy. Kabbon-Takas.
Meanwhile, Zagala said that there were nine rebels who were killed in the clashes.
“The incident in Patikul would not hamper military operations against the Abu Sayyaf,” Zagala said. “The Armed Forces of the Philippines continues to conduct its focused military operations against these rebels to ensure the safety and security of the civilians in the area.”
Of the 13 wounded soldiers, the three who were critically-wounded were airlifted to Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga City.
Families of the fatalities are yet to be informed.
Zagala said that no civilians were hurt in the skirmish.
He added that the Marines in the area would continue the pursuit operation with the Joint Special Operations Group.
“Our soldiers did not suffer in vain for they bravely sacrificed their lives in line if their duty to our people.”
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