6 dead in Basilan clash
MANILA, Philippines—Six people, including four civilians, were killed in an early-morning encounter between military troops and Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sumisip town in Basilan, a military spokesman said Tuesday.
In a text message, Army deputy spokesman Major Harold Cabunoc, quoting Special Operations Task Force head Colonel Alexander Macario, said that around 15 Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Uto Takas and Radzmil Janatul attacked residents in Lower Benembengan village in Sumisip at around 5:45 a.m.
A militiaman, identified as Rolly Lashim, who was in the village during the attack fought the rebels while waiting for reinforcements, Cabunoc said. He was killed together with Private First Class Renz Calacapa, the leader of a seven-man team from a nearby detachment that was deployed to defend the residents.
The gunfight lasted for about an hour and left Lashim and Calacapa and four civilians, including a seven-year-old child, dead.
Cabunoc said the rebels fled with their casualties.
Macario deployed additional troops to pursue the Abu Sayyaf rebels, Cabunoc said.
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