Death toll in Sulu fighting: 25 Abus PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 August 2015 16:55

Ten more Abu Sayyaf members were killed Friday raising to 25 the number of militants slain and 16 others wounded the past three days as the military continued its operations using 105mm howitzers against the fleeing terror group in Patikul, Sulu.

Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, commanding general of the Sulu Joint Task Group, confirmed Friday night the number of fatalities suffered by the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf which is still holding nine hostages, including a Malaysian and Korean.

Arrojado said this was the biggest number of casualties the Abu Sayyaf has suffered.

Army troopers were pursuing the al-qaeda linked group in Patikul and Indanan towns where they fled after two Philippine Coast Guard men held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf since May escaped Thursday following heavy fighting between the soldiers and about 80 Abu Sayyafs.

The two coast guard men Gringo Villaruz and Rod Allain Pagaling have been reunited with their families after their great escape at the height of the fighting.

The Abu Sayyaf panicked when government forces stormed their hideout in Patikul, Arrojado said.

He said “the Abu Sayyaf secured their foreign hostages during the fighting that enabled the two coast guard men to escape.”

Arrojado also said he received reports that Radillon Sajiron, the Abu Sayyaf leader in Sulu, is now suffering from diabetes.

“Civilians in Sulu are helping us locate the Abu Sayyaf, making our operation easier,” Arrojado said.

“Tonight several rounds of 105 howitzers were fired at the fleeing Abu Sayyaf after civilians told us the location of the Abu Sayyaf,” Arrojado added.

He said the operation against the Abu Sayyaf will continue without letup.

Last week the Abu Sayyaf beheaded their hostage, Rodolfo Boligao after his family failed to pay P1 million ransom.