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3 dead in fresh AFP-ASG clashes

Three militiamen were killed while five other militiamen as well as six soldiers were wounded during two separate clashes against the Abu Sayyaf in Sumisip, Basilan early Monday morning.

According to Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) spokeswoman Army Captain Jo-Ann D. Petinglay patrolling troops of the Joint Task Force Basilan encountered the bandits in Sumisip, Basilan.

Reinforcements coming from the 1st Special Forces Company later on encountered the withdrawing bandits in Barangay Cabcaban. The clashes led to the death of three Civilian Active Auxiliary (CAA) members and wounding of three CAA members as well as six military men.

As this developed, AFP chief Gen. Eduardo Año said toops will continue with their operations against the Abu Sayyaf especially during the Lenten Season.

“This is the time where our troops should be more alert and working hard to keep all of you safe and secured to be able to observe and commemorate the Holy Week,” said Año.

Meantime, ASG member Ferdauz Asgari, alias “Mammong”, surrendered to the troops of the 74th Infantry Battalion in Poblacion, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan last Saturday.

Asgari, who turned over his Caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle (Springfield) and a clip loaded with eight live ammunition, is said to be a known follower of sub-leader Nurhassan Jamiri. (Francis T. Wakefield)