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Monday, October 31, 2016

Sulu clash: 2 more Abu Sayyaf men killed, 8 soldiers wounded

MANILA - Government forces encountered members of the Abu Sayyaf in separate encounters Sunday in Indanan and in Patikul towns in Sulu, leaving two more terrorists killed and eight soldiers wounded.

An official report from the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) said the first encounter at around 6:45 a.m. in the hinterlands of Indanan town involved elements of the 11th Scout Ranger Company and a group of 8 Abu Sayyaf men. Two of the latter were killed.

The Rangers were acting on a tipoff by residents about the presence of armed men in the area, said Wesmincom spokesman, Major Felimon Tan Jr.

The firefight was brief but killed two of the terrorists. The escaping ASG group carried away one of the bodies; the second was recovered by the government.

The soldiers also recovered an M16 assault rifle with M203 grenade launcher attached, and one Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

The second encounter at around 12:44 p.m. saw members of the 21st Infantry Battalion fighting off some 100 Abu Sayyaf men in Barangay Panglayahan in Patikul.

According to Wesmincom's Tan Jr., 8 soldiers were injured by that second fighting, and an undetermined number on the enemy side.

Tan said the troops were conducting combat operation and were enroute to a former detachment when they encountered the ASG.

“Initial result of the encounter is 8 soldiers wounded and undetermined casualties on the enemy side,” Tan said.

He said the commander of the 501st Infantry Brigade has “directed all adjacent operating units to block the possible routes of enemy withdrawal, while 105mm Howitzer canons delivered initial 4 rounds and an MG 520 helicopter gunship provided close-air support.”

In all, 38 Sayyaf men have been killed since operations were launched against the terror group in July. The government has incurred 15 fatalities, with 36 wounded so far.

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