6 soldiers killed in Abu Sayyaf attack in Basilan PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 03 November 2014 14:30

Six soldiers of the Army’s 64th Infantry Battalion securing a road project were killed in clash Sunday morning in Sumisip.  Basilan province, a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf.

Col. Rolando Bautista, commander of the Philippine Army’s 104th Brigade based in Basilan, said the slain six soldiers, including a young lieutenant, were providing security protection on an ongoing road project funded by Saudi Arabia, when some Abu Sayyaf gunmen led by Radzmi Jannatul attacked them at Sitio Mompol, Barangay Libug, Sumisip around 7:30 a.m.

Bautista said a 45-minute firefight ensued which resulted in the death of the six troopers.

“My soldiers are securing the Basilan circumferential road to ensure its timely completion before the end of this year. I am by this senseless violence against our soldiers who are helping deliver services for the people, “ Bautista said.

He said he has dispatched reinforcement units to track down those responsible for the killing of the six soldiers.

Helicopter gunships took off the Edwin Andrews Air Base in Zamboanga City around 8 a.m. apparently to provide air support to the army security forces running after the Abu Sayyaf attackers.

“I will press charges against these Abu Sayyaf bandits harassing the soldiers guarding the 64-kilometer road project,” Bautista said.

Sunday’s attack could be a retaliation and diversion tactic from the Abu Sayyaf whose counterpart in Sulu came under heavy attack with airstrikes and ground assault from government forces tracking down the kidnappers of two German tourists who were recently released after the reported payment of P250 million ransom.

The military insists there was now ransom paid and that the Abu Sayyaf militants were pressured to release the two German nationals because ground forces were closing in on them.