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3 ASG men, 1 soldier killed in fierce battle

by Francis T. Wakefield

Three Abu Sayyaf terrorists and a soldier were killed while 15 government troops were wounded during a fierce encounter in Sulu Province on Saturday.

Major Christopher Genzola led soldiers of the 21st Infantry Battalion in an hour-long battle against the heavily-armed bandits under Almujer Yaddah at Sitio Darayan at the boundary of Brgy. Danag and Brgy. Buhanginan, both of Patikul, Sulu at around 8:45 a.m.

During clearing operations, troops were able to recover an unidentified dead body of the enemy from the encounter site.

“Our operating troops were also able to see the bandits dragging two bodies of their companions who appeared to be already lifeless,” Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, the Commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, said.

“Our operating troops were also able to see the bandits dragging two bodies of their companions who appeared to be already lifeless,” Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, the Commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, said.

Sobejana said troops were acting on an information that were initially taken from two kidnap victims recovered in Daang Puti, Patikul, Sulu, Friday afternoon.

Reyjim Rocabo, 41 and Roel Leones, 37 both from Tukuran, Zamboanga Del Sur were on board a motorcycle when intercepted and recovered by the government forces at 5 p.m. Friday.

Rocabo and Leones specifically pinpointed the locations of the targetted Abu Sayyaf members who according to the duo, were keeping other kidnap victims including some Vietnamese crewmen.

“As we speak, skirmishes are still ongoing as our troops are going after the tracks of the withdrawing bandits,” Sobejana said.

Sobejana said during the course of the encounter, a soldier died and 15 others were slightly wounded. All wounded personnel were safely evacuated and treated at the Camp Teofilo Busbos Hospital in Jolo, Sulu, while the body of the dead soldier was brought to the military mortuary in the JTF Sulu headquarters.

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