2 Abu Sayyaf men killed in AFP search and destroy ops – Army
Two suspected Abu Sayyaf members were killed while another was hurt following the military’s search and destroy operations early Tuesday morning in Patikul, Sulu.
The casualties on the enemy side were reportedly under the leadership of Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, who were hiding in Sitio Masjid Anak-Anak in Barangay Tanum.
The slain bandits were Emmar Jamhari and Naser Muhammad, while the injured rebel was a certain Ammel Madjid.
Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, commander of Joint Task Group Sulu, said the Abu Sayyaf members were killed after their search and destroy operations in the suspected rebel hideout.
The military received information that Sawadjaan’s men were hiding in Sitio Masjid Anak-Anak, prompting authorities to assault the area with artillery fire at around 5 a.m., Tuesday.
The 35th Infantry Battalion employed its 81 mm mortars to bombard the hideout of the bandits, who were forced to flee their lair.
Arrojado noted that some of the Abu Sayyaf members occupied the slope of a hill to avoid being hit by the artillery fire, to no avail. The bandits fled their encampment after 30 minutes of bombardment.
He described the hideout as having an area enough to accommodate around 100 people.
“The enemy withdrew towards the south after the series of indirect fire. Troops are continuing their search and are scouring the area for the possible presence of remnants of the Abu Sayyaf,” Arrojado said.
After the bandits fled their encampment with their wounded comrades, government troops searched the area and recovered 70 rounds of ammunition for M60 machine guns, personal belongings and a memory card.
The military has alerted its other troops for a possible retaliation of the bandit group after the assault on their lair. (Julie M. Aurelio, Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.