Troops pursuing Abus seize 13 guns in Sulu PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 13 December 2014 11:42

Government forces pursuing Abu Sayyaf guerrillas have recovered 13 high-powered firearms and ammunition in Sulu, a military official announced Friday.

Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said the firearms were recovered Wednesday in Barangay Mangis, Indanan, Sulu.

Guerrero said among the firearms recovered by the Joint Task Group Sulu headed by Col. Alan Arrojado were an M-16 Armalite rifle with M-203 grenade launcher attached; one 9-mm pistol; one caliber .45 pistol; four M16 Armalite rifles; three M-14 rifles; one AK-47 assault rifle; one Barrett rifle and one M-4 rifle.

“Our troops continue to cordon the area to prevent extrication of lawless elements operating in Indanan, Sulu,” Guerrero said.

He said they are closely working with the police and local government units in the conduct of relentless law enforcement operations in Sulu.

The law enforcement operations against Abu Sayyaf militants started after the release of the two German hostages on October.

On November 14,  a week after the intensified operations started, 15 people, including five soldiers, were killed while 58 others were wounded in an encounter between government forces and the Abu Sayyaf Group in Talipao, Sulu.

Five soldiers and 10 militants died in the encounter that lasted for almost five hours.

Some of the slain Abu Sayyaf gunmen were identified as Hairullah Asbang, brother-in-law of Radulan Sahiron, and was said to be a notorious leader of ASG; Julie Ekit, Betting Jakka and Hamer Absara.

Military said 28 soldiers  and at least 30 Abu Sayyaf men were wounded in the gunfight.

Philippine Army 1Lt Michael  Asitores, one of the wounded soldiers, said the ASG they encountered were high on drugs, after they found some marijuana leftovers from the clash site.

“The Abu Sayyaf borrowed their courage from the marijuana leaves they smoked before the firefight. That solved the puzzle about their bravery in combat, they are drug crazed fighters,” Asitores said.