2 Abu Sayyaf members killed in encounter in Sulu
Government forces killed two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members in an encounter in Sulu on Thursday, a military spokesman said Friday.
Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command, said the troops of 2nd Special Forces Battalion with the members of CAFGU Active Auxiliaries (CAA) were conducting combat operation when they encountered around 30 armed men in the vicinity of Brgy. Latih, Patikul around noon.
Petinglay said fire fight that lasted for almost one hour that started at 12noon has “resulted to the death of two Abu Sayyaf members and the recovery of one R4A3 rifle; one M203 grenade launcher; two cellular phones; and a back pack with personal belongings.”
She quoted Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu Commander, as saying one of the killed Abu Sayyaf were recovered by the government forces.
“They found a dead body lying in the area of encounter, who was later identified by the brgy officials in the community as a certain Roger Samlahon, a notorious urban terrorist group member who was involved in snatching of kidnap victims in Jolo Proper,” said Sobejana.
“We will still give him a decent burial. We are just waiting for the officials of the barangay to claim the bodies,” he added.
Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command said the military forces sent two assault helicopters to provide aerial support to the operating soldiers around 1pm of the same day.
“Later that afternoon, more assault aircrafts also proceeded to the area for aerial maneuvers,” he said.
"We will give our soldiers the best of our assets as they continue to sustain the operations in pursuing the Abu Sayyaf Group who are still on the run as of this time while dragging along their kidnap victims,” he added.
“It is our priority to rescue the kidnap victims thus our soldiers are very very careful in their movements and bombardments,” Galvez noted. The Abu Sayyaf are holding 10 hostages. Robina Asido/DMS