Army major, sergeant slain in Abu ambush PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 10:57

An Army major and a sergeant were killed, while four other soldiers were wounded after they were ambushed by Abu Sayyaf guerrillas in Albarka, Basilan last Monday afternoon.

A military report disclosed that the Abu Sayyaf ambushers also suffered two dead and three wounded as the Army soldiers who were ambushed managed to return fire.

The report identified the slain Army soldiers as Maj. Alin Kannung, Executive Officer of 32nd Infantry Battalion and TSgt. Ferdinand Costan. Wounded were Cpl. Julambri Sabri, Sgt. Darwis Jannatin, Cpl. Sajir Iraji and PFC Damin  Usman

The Abu Sayyaf bandits killed in the clash were identified as Mingkong and Mardan Sapilin.

The military report said the group of Maj. Kannung was a part of the 104th Infantry Brigade’s humanitarian effort in the area to distribute goats and other livestock as livelihood assistance to the people of Kambug and Buhi Piang, Albarka. Their convoy was enroute to Buhi Piang from Kambug for the distribution of the remaining livestocks in the area when they were ambushed around 2 p.m. This area is also the home base of BIAF, MILF Commander Dan Asnawi.

Maj Kannung was a former MNLF commander who was integrated into the Armed Forces after the 1996 Peace Agreement with the MNLF. He is from Albarka, which was then a part of Tipo-Tipo, Basilan, and formerly operated there as a rebel. After joining the AFP, he has been very active in the campaign of the armed forces against the terrorist ASG in Basilan which is believed to be the root cause of the hatred of the ASG on him.

The four Army personnel wounded in the operation were airlifted to the Camp Navarro Station Hospital in Zamboanga City where they are presently being treated for gunshot wounds .Soldiers of the 104th Brigade were dispatched to conduct hot pursuit against the Abu Sayyaf perpetrators.

According to Lt. Col.  CJ Paolo P. Perez, Maj. Kannung and hisgroup while en route to their place of engagement, noticed the presence of suspicious armed men along the road. Without delay, he together with his men alighted from their vehicle and immediately engaged in a firefight with the bandits positioned at a high ground. While giving orders to his men to maneuver, Maj Kannung was hit by sniper bullet.

“His early detection of the presence of the bandits and his bravery in the face of the enemy fire, Maj Kannung was able to save the lives of his companions,” Lt. Col. Perez said

Major Kannung’s nom de guerre when he was still an MNLF fighter was Commander Blossom.