Artillery shelling forces Abus to retreat in Sulu fresh fighting PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 11:18

Government forces pounded Abu Sayyaf positions with artillery fire forcing the militants to withdraw during a clash Tuesday morning in Sulu province.

Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, joint military task group Sulu commander, said in a statement that the Abu Sayyaf guerrillas together with foreign cohorts from Malaysia and Indonesia appeared to have suffered casualties due to heavy 105 howitzer shelling in the village of Bungkaong, Patikul town.

Arrojado said that troops from the Bravo Company of the Army’s 35th Infantry Battalion, while on “focus military operations”  chanced upon a group of 30 Abu Sayyaf gunmen led by Guro Ibrahim around 8:55 a.m. Tuesday in Barangay Bungkaong, Patikul, Sulu.

Arrojado, who is also the commander of the Army’s 501st Infantry Brigade, said the Abu Sayyaf militants were laying IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices)” when troops arrived  and engaged them in a firefight.

He said the militants could have suffered casualties from their own IEDs that exploded prematurely while the gubattle was ongoing.

After 35 minutes of exchanging fire and artillery shelling the Abu Sayyaf militants withdrew  deep into Sulu’s jungle.

MG-120 attack helicopters took off from the Edwin Andrews Air Base in Zamboanga City and flew to Sulu for air support to the ground troops.

He said a company from the Army’s 35th Infantry Battalion linked up with the 35th IB company during the firefight.

Arrojado added that the troops from the Army’s 32nd Infantry Battalion, 1st Scout Ranger Battalion and 2nd Marine Brigade put up blocking positions to contain the movements of the Abu Sayyaf group as the “focus military operations” continued.