Four Abu Sayyaf members killed in Basilan
Seventeen soldiers killed four Abu Sayyaf members and recovered high-powered firearms in Basilan on Wednesday.
Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command, said troops of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, 64th Infantry Battalion, 18th Infantry Battalion and 12th Division Reconnaissance Company under the Joint Task Force Basilan led by Brigadier General Fernando Reyeg, launched focused military operations against the Abu Sayyaf under sub-leader Furuji Indama at Sitio Gipitan, Barangay Bohe Pahu, Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan.
"A heavy firefight ensued after which the enemies scampered to different direction," he said.
"Close air support was immediately deployed to go after the fleeing bandits," he added.
Besana said the troops conducting clearing operation following the encounter recovered four cadavers of the enemy and three high-powered firearms: an M-16 rifle, one M-14 rifle and one R4.
Reyeg said troops are pursuing the fleeing terrorists.
"Our troops are currently on the ground to pin down the Abu Sayyaf who are on the run and are evading military forces,” he said
Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Wesmincom chief, said "the sustained military operations of JTF Basilan manifest the commitment of the AFP in fulfilling its mandate of bringing internal peace and security in the province." Robina Asido/DMS