‘Abu Sayyaf men’ attack Basilan village, displacing ‘thousands’
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits attacked a barangay (village) in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan, on Wednesday night.
Former Ungkaya Pukan town mayor Joel Maturan said “the whole village of Sungkayot is affected.”
“The bandits are firing at villages and targeting the headquarters of 18th Infantry Battalion using 50 caliber (guns),” Maturan said.
Maturan said he was leading his own barangay tanods (village watchmen) in support of the military troopers.
Major Filemon Tan Jr., spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, confirmed the ongoing firefight.
“We are still waiting for report from the ground,” Tan said.
Both Maturan and Tan could not say if there were casualties.
Former Tipo-Tipo Central town Mayor Tong Istarul said the bandits stormed the Tipo-Tipo town proper around 7:30 p.m. and displaced thousands of residents.
“Nagkagulo, lahat apektado (It turned chaotic, everybody was affected), I can’t give numbers. We will wait until tomorrow, mahirap ngayon (it’s difficult to get information now),” Istarul said.
Tan said the attack was led by Furuji Indama and Isnilon Hapilon. SFM
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