Sulu fierce battle: 8 killed, 24 wounded PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 March 2016 13:51

Fierce fighting erupted Friday morning in strife-torn Sulu leaving one soldier and seven Abu Sayyaf militants dead and 24 wounded on both sides, a military official said.

Sulu Joint Task Group commander Brig. Gen. Alan Arojado said the battle broke out as troops of the Army’s 10th Battalion encountered a large group of Abu Sayyaf under top leader Radullan Sahiron around 9:15 a.m. in the village of Panglayahan, Patikul town, Sulu.

Arojado said Army Corporal Pasiol was killed in the fighting in which both sides exchanged mortar and machine gun fire. Seventeen other soldiers were wounded including the battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel Mario Jacinto.

Fourteen of those wounded were identified as TSgt. Edgar Pahunang, SSgt. Henry Paguyo, Sgt. Abduraman Ladjahasan, SSgt. Randy River,  Sgt.  Jul Amin Baridji, Sgt. Rey Saluag, Sgt. Baguio Balansi, Cpl. Jerahkim Cuello,  Cpl. Roel Sinao,  PFC Gleen Richard Ponse,  PFC Jojo Anlas, SSgt. Bernard Rey Tamparo, Sgt. Anthony Remotin  and Pvt. Isagani Moracilla.

A military report said Col. Jacinto and his men clashed with some 100 Abu Sayyaf gunmen and the gunbattle lasted until 10:40 a.m.

The seven slain militants remained unidentified, while the high ranking Sahiron and six other militants were wounded, villagers were quoted as saying.

On Thursday, Arojado said, a combined miltary and police team arrested three Abu Sayyaf militants in the village of Bangkal, Patikul town, notorious as Abu Sayyaf haven.

Arrested were Jemar Asgari, 22, Alden Asmad, 29  and Dems Abtal, 28.  They were first spotted aboard a motorcycle with pistols tucked in their waists.

The security forces chased and cornered the three, suspected as behind the recent gun slaying of policemen at the Jolo airport and the fatal ambush on Tuesday of two army intelligence operatives.

A military source who asked not to be identified as he is not authorized to talk to reporters said security forces are pressuring the Abu Sayyaf with offensive operations to release  their Norwegian and Canadian hostages being held in the jungles of Sulu. With reports from Richard Falcatan and Dan Toribio Jr.