10 Abus killed in clash with soldiers in Sulu
ZAMBOANGA CITY— At least 10 members of the Abu Sayyaf were killed while 32 government soldiers were wounded in a firefight in Talipao, Sulu province, on Sunday.
Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., commander of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said troopers belonging to the 41st Infantry Battalion (IB) clashed with about 80 bandits led by Abu Sayyaf leaders Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, Radulan Sahiron and Almujer Yadah.
Galvez said the troops hit the “biggest group,” but the bandits were in a better position compared to the government forces.
He said the government troops managed to use trees as cover, but the bandits used an M203 grenade launcher, hitting the soldiers with splinters and shrapnel.
At least 32 members of the 41st IB, including its leader Lt. Col. William George Cordova, and another officer, Lt. Joemarie Landicho, were wounded.
Galvez said 10 soldiers sustained bullet wounds, while 19 others were hit by shrapnel.
Galvez said the Abu Sayyaf group was still holding 7 Indonesians, 12 Vietnamese and a Dutch national as kidnap victims.
He said the bandits also suffered heavy casualty as the military delivered ground fire from 105 howitzers.
But the soldiers only recovered one body of a suspected bandit.
“They suffered heavy damage. On the ground, so many leaves of coconut and bananas were bloodied. They used these leaves to drag the bodies, and based on the number of bloodied leaves, they suffered heavily,” Galvez said.
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.