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5 ASG, 2 soldiers dead in encounter

By: Francis T. Wakefield

Five suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed following an encounter in Sulu province early Thursday morning.

Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, said the firefight took place at Sitio Langhub, Brgy. Pang, Kalingalan Caluang, Sulu Province at about 4 a.m. Thursday.

Unfortunately for the government troops, two of their soldiers died in the encounter which lasted for about 30 minutes.

According to Sabejano, Marine troopers were conducting security and rescue operations against the abductors of the 23 remaining kidnap victims of the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu when it encountered more or less 30 heavily armed lawless elements.

Sobejana said aside from the two killed soldiers whose identities were withheld pending the notification of their love ones, another soldier was wounded in action.

Several high-powered firearms were also seized from the terrorists which include two M16, an M14, and Garand rifles; a KG-9 sub machine gun, a Baret rifle and a shotgun.

“This (operation) is part of our sustained and relentless focused military operations to rescue the remaining kidnap victims as there were unvalidated threat coming from the enemy that they will behead their captives,” Sobejana said.