32 soldiers injured in Sulu clash PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 13:55

At least 32 soldiers, including two officers, were injured during a gun battle between government troops and the Abu Sayyaf in barangay Laus, Talipao municipality in Sulu Sunday morning.

Western Mindanao Command Chief Maj General Carlito Galvez said that the incident occurred when operating troops of the 41st Infantry Battalion and the 5th Infantry Division conducted an operation in Talipao Sulu after receiving reports that kidnap victims were spotted in the area.

The soldiers figured in a gun battle with about 80 to 100 members of the Abu Sayyaf led by Abu Sayyaf leaders Almujer Yadah and Hajan Sawadjaan.

The one and a hour hour firefight, which started at around 9:30am, resulted to an initial casualty count of 16 among government troops.

Another body count resulted to 32 soldiers, including 2 officers, injured from the clash.

The injured officers were identified by Galvez as 41st Infantry Battalion Commander Col William George Cordova and Lt. Jomarie Landicho.  The two reportedly sustained minor injuries from shrapnel.

Four soldiers were airlifted to the Camp Basilio Navarro General Hospital at the Western Mindanao Command after sustaining gun shot wounds.

One is seriously injured from a bullet wound on the head and was confined at a private hospital in Zamboanga.

Six other injured soldiers who sustained gunshot wounds were confined at the Kampo Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Hospital in Sulu.

The rest of the injured victims reportedly sustained minor injuries from shrapnel.

Galvez said that one Abu Sayyaf member was  killed based on a body count conducted in the area after the firefight.

More than ten bandits were injured based on bloodied fronds and leaves left in the aftermath of the encounter.   An M-16 rifle was also recovered by troops.

Troops are presently conducting pursuit operations against the escaping bandits.

Galvez said that five battalions are now operating in Sulu to rescue the kidnap victims and finish off the bandits.  (Liza Jocson)