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Aquino visits soldiers wounded in Abu Sayyaf encounter

President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday visited the soldiers who were injured in a bloody encounter with the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan over the weekend.

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The Twitter account of the President (@NoynoyAquino) posted a photo of Aquino at the military hospital inside Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City, the headquarters of the Western Mindanao Command.

“P-Noy visits the soldiers wounded during an Abu Sayyaf encounter, at a hospital in Zamboanga City,” the post said.

An Inquirer reporter who was at the event said the President spent almost an hour talking to the wounded soldiers.

The gunfight in Basilan left 18 soldiers and at least 24 Abu Sayyaf fighters dead. The six soldiers that were critically wounded are now in stable condition, according to an earlier report.

READ: Abu Sayyaf fatalities up to 24

Aquino also met with the families of the 18 soldiers who were killed.

Among the topics they discussed were the bravery of the soldiers and how the mission was seen as a major step in curbing terrorism.

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The President also informed the families of the benefits and assistance that they could expect from the government.

“Matagal nang problema ito. Marami nang naperwisyong buhay. Gusto ko nang tapusin ito,” Aquino was quoted saying, according to defense spokesperson Peter Galvez. With a report from Nikko Dizon/CDG/RC

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