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6 soldiers killed in clash with Sayyaf men

Col. Juvymax Uy, Joint Task Force Basilan and 104th Infantry Brigade commander, said soldiers of the 18th Infantry Battalion (IB) launched an offensive against the bandits led by Siar Alhamsirol and Parong Tedi in Barangay Upper Cabengbeng at about 12:41 p.m. File

ZAMBOANGA CITY  , Philippines  —  Six soldiers were killed and four others wounded in an encounter with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sumisip, Basilan on Wednesday. 

Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom)  spokesperson, said four of the fatalities were transported to this city while two others were claimed by their relatives. 

The wounded were airlifted and confined at the Camp Navarro General Hospital and in a private hospital.

Col. Juvymax Uy, Joint Task Force Basilan and 104th Infantry Brigade commander, said soldiers of the 18th Infantry Battalion (IB) launched an offensive against the bandits led by Siar Alhamsirol and Parong Tedi in Barangay Upper Cabengbeng at about 12:41 p.m.

“Toward the circumferential road, operating troops were met with heavy fire by lawless elements believed to be relatives and sympathizers of the Abu Sayyaf,” Uy said.

He said the firefight lasted for almost four hours, with soldiers of the 64th and 68th IBs deployed as reinforcement. The Air Force also launched air strikes on Abu Sayyaf positions. 

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Westmincom chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. vowed to step up operations to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf.

“As we mourn, combat and intelligence operations against the bandits will be intensified,” Galvez said.

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