20 soldiers wounded in clash with Basilan Abus PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 12 April 2014 11:54

Twenty  Scout Rangers of the Philippine Army were wounded in a clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits at dawn yesterday in Unkaya Pukan, Basilan.

The military’s Western Mindanao Command based in Zamboanga City said the Rangers were on combat operation in pursuit of Abu Sayyaf bandits behind extortion and kidnapping cases clashed with an undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf gunmen led by Furuji Indama in Unkaya Pukan.

Capt Maria Rowena A. Muyuela, Western Mindanao Command, spokesperson,  quoting troops on the ground said there were also undetermined number of casualties from the Abu Sayyaf.

The 20 wounded soldiers were flown to Zamboanga City for treatment at a military hospital around 6:30 am.

Muyuela said the combat operation was carried out  in coordination with police troopers in pursuit of Abu Sayyaf gunmen tagged as responsible for several extortion and kidnapping cases.

Muyuela said the Abu Sayyaf guerrillas have occupied two school buildings in the vilalge of Baguindan in Unkaya Pukan.

She said tThe operation was intended to seize Furuji Indama and his group who had earlier tried to extort government workers implementing the construction of the Magkawa-Albarka Road in Basilan.

Indama’s Abu Sayyaf comrades are believed to be holding either in Basilan or Jolo island the Chinese and Filipina hostages they seized from a dive resort in Sempornah, Sabah, Malaysia on April 2.

The Abu Sayyaf have demanded more than US$11 million (P500 million) in ransom for the release of the Chinese tourist.

Malaysian Home Minister Zahid Hamidi said the family of Gao Huayun, are negotiating with her abductors through an intermediary.

“The kidnappers have asked for 36.4 million ringgit (US$11.25 million). Gao’s family has appointed someone to negotiate for her safe release,” said Zahid, whose ministry handles internal security and law enforcement.