Ten Abu Sayyaf bandits and four soldiers were killed following heavy firefight in Patikul, Sulu, Friday morning.
Army Major Felimon I. Tan Jr., the spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom), said troops from the 35th Infantry Battalion led by Major Saddama were on patrol operations when it encountered more or less 150 fully armed ASG bandits led by Radullan Sahiron at Sitio Dyundangan, Brgy Buhanginan, Patikul, Sulu.
Tan meanwhile said four soldiers were killed with nine others were wounded from the intense firefight which lasted for almost an hour.
Tan said the encounter took place as the military continues to intensify the conduct of focused military operations in the province.
Immediately, indirect fire support were delivered by 105mm Howitzers while other units conducted pursuit and blocking operations.
Tan added that the Joint Task Force Sulu facilitated casualty evacuation and directed Sykorsy 76 air ambulance to conduct casualty evacuation from Sulu to Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga City.
All units were also directed to establish checkpoints in their respective areas.
Despite the casualties incurred, the military continues to conduct combat operations against the ASG to destroy the bandits, rescue the kidnap victims and deter terror attacks (Francis T. Wakefield)