Pacquiao-Bradley screening venue cleared for 18 slain soldiers
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The gymnasium inside the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) headquarters here was supposed to be the venue for the public screening of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight. Instead, it is being prepared for the remains of the 18 soldiers killed in Basilan on Saturday.
Major Filemon Tan Jr., Westmincom spokesperson, said the change of plan was made Saturday night, and that the gym was “being prepared for all our fallen heroes.”
At least 18 soldiers were killed and 52 others were wounded in a 10-hour clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan, on Saturday.
Tan said five Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed and 20 others were wounded in the clash. He said a Moroccan terrorist, identified as Mohammad Khattab, and Ubaida Hapilon, son of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, were reportedly among the bandits killed in the clash.
The 18 soldiers who died in the clash included 1Lt Remegio Licena, a platoon leader of the 44th Infantry Battalion’s Charlie Company.
Tan said three officers, including the battalion commander of the 44th Infantry Battalion, Lt. Col. Tommy Crosby, were among the wounded.
The wounded government troops were brought to the Edwin Andrews Air Base hospital and Camp Navarro Hospital and the Zamboanga City Medical Center.
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