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3 ASG men killed in Sabah encounter

The Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command yesterday confirmed that the three gunmen shot dead by Sabah security forces in Lahad Datu last December 8 were indeed members of the Abu Sayyaf Group.

The Western Mindanao Command’s naval and air units are conducting patrol and blocking operations in the provinces of Tawi-Tawi and Sulu after an armed group boarded a Malaysian-flagged trawler in Sabah waters and kidnapped two Indonesian crew members last Nov. 18.

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Navy units rescued 63 passengers and 12 crew of a motor launch drifting off Sulu after encountering engine trouble Wednesday, the military said yesterday.

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Two members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed yesterday following a military operation in the town of Pata in Sulu.

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Marine Col. Edgard A. Arevalo, the chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Public Affairs Office identified the fatalities as S/Sgt Ruel A Catubay, 39 years old; Sgt. Jay Erwin L. Almohallas, 38 years old; Corporals Omar M. Raddulan, 41; Ronald M. Galoniga, 33; Elid S. Ismael, 49; Salik H. Mandangan, 31; Private First Class Nestor C. Bacaling, 26; Pfc. Jison B. Falcasantos, 28; Pfc. Gerald A. Yubal, 29; Pfc. Dhendo A. Dujo, 32; Pfc. Roselito A. Arnoco, 29; Pfc. Glend C. Resma, 24; Pfc. Rogelio D. Vincoy, 28; Private Jonas A. Lumayan, 23 and marine officer Ernan P. Gusto, 33 who holds a rank of 2nd Lt.

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The decapitated head of what seems to belong to kidnap victim Patrick Jhames Almodavar was recovered by the local police in Barangay Kadjatan, Indanan Sulu.

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