Military rescues two Indonesians in Sulu
The military said they rescued two Indonesians held captive by the Abu Sayyaf since September in Sulu in two operations where a member of the bandit group early Sunday morning
Lt. General Cirilito Sobejana, head of the Western Mindanao Command, said rescued were Maharudin Bin Lunani and Samiun Bin Maneu who were kidnapped in the waters off Lahad Datu, Sabah on September 23, 2019.
Another Indonesian fisherman, Muhammad Farhan, remained in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf, which suffered a casualty. A soldier was also killed and wounded in the encounter, the military added.
Sobejana is optimistic they can rescue the remaining Indonesian captive.
“We have reinforced our troops and have cordoned off the area, so we are optimistic that we can rescue Farhan,” he said.
“This is part of our relentless effort to rescue the remaining captives and defeat the Abu Sayyaf before the end of the year,” Sobejana added
Sobejana said elements of the 4th Marine Battalion engaged in a 25-minute gun battle with Abu Sayyaf militants in Barangay Pugad, Panamao around 4:43 am.
It as followed by another encounter around 6:27 am which resulted in the death of an Abu Sayyaf member identified as Hairula Itum.
Sobejana offered his condolences to the family of the slain soldier, whom he did not name.
“We offer our condolences the bereaved family and loved ones of our soldier, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for peace to thrive in Sulu. His gallantry will continue to inspire us to accomplish more for the common good,” said Sobejana.
Soldiers also recovered several firearms, including one M-16, one M-203, and one gunner rig with ammunition.
“We will continue to pursue and neutralize militants with our deliberate operations to rescue captives and thwart their hostile plans,” Sobejana said. Ella Dionisio/DMS