6 killed as troops overrun rebel camp
- Roel Pareño, John Unson () - December 2, 2001 - 12:00am
ZAMBOANGA CITY — At least six followers of jailed rebel leader Nur Misuari were killed while nine soldiers were wounded in a clash in a remote barangay in Patikul, Sulu, the Armed Forces Southern Command (Southcom) said yesterday.

This developed as Southcom units overran the main camp of Misuari loyalists in Indanan, Sulu — the seventh Misuari stronghold to fall since the military launched a counter-offensive after the Nov. 19 attacks on military detachments on the island.

Also yesterday, police in Cotabato City said they arrested three Misuari loyalists believed responsible for at least three bombings in Parang, Maguindanao during the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Nov. 26.

In Davao City, the newly installed leadership of the Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) has launched a probe into the allegedly anomalous release of some P42 million in livelihood-assistance funds to non-existent beneficiaries.

Newly-installed SPDA administrator Zamzamin Ampatuan said SPDA officials suspect that the P42 million was used by Misuari loyalists to buy high-powered weapons for Nov. 19 attacks in Sulu and the fighting in Zamboanga City on Nov. 27.

Meanwhile, elements of the 7th Infantry Battalion looking for rebels involved in Nov. 19 attacks stormed the rebel camp in Sitio Kan-Imalan, Barangay Kabuntakas in Patikul around 11:30 a.m., sparking the fierce four-hour gunbattle.

Southcom chief Lt. Gen. Roy Cimatu said two junior Army officers and five of their men were wounded in the fighting but two rebel leaders, identified as Sahabil Juram Sabtal and Sali Abdulmajid Hanibulla, were killed in the fighting.

Southcom spokesman Col. Fredesvindo Covarrubias said intercepted rebel radio messages indicated the rebels suffered more casualties, forcing them to break up into smaller groups.

Air Force tactical operation center chief Brig. Gen. Marciano Ilagan said helicopter gunships backed the government troops while three bomber jets remained on stand-by.

In Indanan, government forces captured the fortified Misuari camp in Sitio Silangkan in Barangay Parang, overlooking the capital town of Jolo, at around 1:30 p.m.

Southcom assistant chief for operations Col. Roland Detabali said Misuari loyalists fled the camp without a fight as elements of the 11th Infantry Battalion and Army Rangers under the 104th Army Brigade surrounded the camp.

The military also recovered in Indanan 10 government trucks that Misuari supposedly used in the first week of November when he held an assembly of his armed followers and allegedly planned the attacks. - With reports from Edith Regalado, Marichu Villanueva, Jaime Laude, Perseus Echeminada

AIR FORCE ARMED FORCES SOUTHERN COMMAND ARMY BRIGADE AUTONOMOUS REGION BARANGAY KABUNTAKAS BARANGAY PARANG COTABATO CITY EDITH REGALADO FREDESVINDO COVARRUBIAS MISUARI SOUTHCOM
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with