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Abu Sayyaf gunmen shoot it out with government forces in Sulu; 1 dead

JOLO, Sulu – Members of the dangerous Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in this province resisted arrest and instead fired their guns on the elite 5th Scout Ranger Battalion Friday (July 9) which also resulted into a 20-minute exchange of gunfires.

The skirmishes, according to an army official, resulted to the death of one ASG combatant and the wounding of several others as they retreated from the battle field and left their camp.

Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Sulu commander said they have yet to identify the dead body of an Abu Sayyaf member who has died during the skirmishes which started around 12:20 p.m. in Bud Daho, Barangay Lumping Pigi Daho, Talipao, this province.

Major Gonzales said they were only verifying reports regarding the reported presence of the terror group whent they heard gunshots from the enemy side and they also retaliated which resulted to the 20-minute gunbattle.

“Immediately, troops of (the) 5th Scout Ranger Battalion who are operating nearby proceeded to the location. Then and there, they fought with more or less 20 Abu Sayyaf bandits under sub-leaders Mundi Sawadjaan and Ellam Nasirin,” Gen Gonzales said.

He said they have overran the encampment of the Abu Sayyaf group after the rebels scampered in different directions and left their camp.

Gonzales, who is also currently tht 11th Infantry Division commander, said his men found the remains of the fallen combatant of the terror group. The government forces also recovered from the camp 14 hammocks, eight ponchos, three pairs of boots, and food items.

It was also learned that bloogstains were found in the camp left by the bandit group. “Our combat trackers are doing their best to locate this group. Bloodstains were found in the vicinity of the camp.”

On the other hand, Gen Gonzales told reporters that Friday’s accomplishment of the army was dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the C-130 plane that crashed in Patikul, Sulu, on July 4th.  

“I commend the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion for this extraordinary feat. Troops here in Sulu are still mourning the death of our comrades who died on the C-130 mishap, but we have no choice (but) to keep on with our mandate. They came here to join us in our campaign for peace in Sulu. We honor them by striving to achieve that mission,” Gonzales concluded. – PNA

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