3 soldiers, 1 Abu Sayyaf killed in fresh Sulu clashes

3 soldiers, 1 Abu Sayyaf killed in fresh Sulu clashes

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Three Marines and an Abu Sayyaf militant were killed in fierce clashes Friday in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, security officials said.

Officials said three soldiers were also wounded in the fighting that broke out in Timpook village in Patikul town where security forces launched an assault on an Abu Sayyaf hideout.

Lt. Col Gerry Besana, spokesman for the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said  troops from the 62nd, 61st and 64th Marine companies encountered the terrorists under the command of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Alnijar Ekit and Aldi Alun in a running gunbattle that also left a still undetermined number of enemies wounded.

“Based on human intelligence, initial results of the ongoing firefight include a number of severely wounded bandits that probably could have died due to loss of blood. And while pursuing the Abu Sayyaf, troops recovered the body of an enemy killed with his M14 rifle and seven magazines,” said Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo, commander of the Joint Task Force-Sulu.

“On the government side, three marines were killed and three others incurred minor injuries,” he added.

During the pursuit operations, troops were able to recover the body of an Abu Sayyaf member along with an M14 rifle and seven of the firearm’s magazines.

Abu Sayyaf leaders have pledged allegiance to the IS and are fighting along with other extremist groups actively operating in the troubled region for the establishment of a caliphate. AL JACINTO, DEMPSEY REYES



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