^

Headlines

26 dead in clashes between Marines, Sayyaf

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The death toll from clashes between government forces and Abu Sayyaf bandits who launched a counterattack to regain control of a jungle training camp in Sulu has risen to 26, the military said yesterday.

Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Capt. Maria Rowena Muyuela said the latest field reports showed 25 Abu Sayyaf militants were killed and 24 of them wounded.  On the government side, one Marine trooper died and 19 were wounded.

No fresh fighting was reported yesterday even as the death toll from the fighting increased from 15 since some of the wounded militants died, Muyuela said. She said local residents identified 20 of the slain gunmen.

The clashes broke out Tuesday afternoon and ended 10 hours later after government forces successfully drove out the bandits from their jungle camp in Sitio Kanjimao, Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul town.

Abu Sayyaf gunmen tried to retake the camp and launched a counterattack but government forces held them off with air support.

Muyuela said the jungle camp was used as a training facility by the Abu Sayyaf led by Yasser Igasan, who was among those reportedly wounded in the firefight.

Igasan was said to be the conduit of the bandit group to the al-Qaeda terror network.

Muyuela said government troops are continuously scouring the area and were able to retrieve the bodies of the slain bandits. Some of the villagers identified the bodies.

“Most of those Abu Sayyaf casualties were relatives of some leaders of the group,” Muyuela added.

Security forces remained on alert against the possibility of retaliatory attacks from the Abu Sayyaf.

Newly installed Philippine Navy chief Rear Admiral Jesus Millan assured the Marines in Sulu of all the support to ensure the accomplishment of their mission.

Millan and Marine commandant Maj. Gen. Romeo Tanalgo visited the wounded troops at Camp Navarro General Hospital at the Western Mindanao Command headquarters to extend the relief and cash assistance.

“Even if it is a holiday in Manila, we are here to find out the requirements needed by our units in the field to sustain their operational requirements,” Millan said.

Millan emphasized two critical concerns that he said should be addressed, including the accomplishment of the mission and ensuring the morale and welfare of the men.

Tanalgo, for his part, lauded the Marines involved in the operation. “The units there have implemented a strategic plan that constricted the Abu Sayyaf and isolated the operation in that place.”

Tanalgo said the operation dealt a big blow to the Abu Sayyaf, and the bandits are now on the run.

 

ABU

ABU SAYYAF

BARANGAY BUHANGINAN

CAMP NAVARRO GENERAL HOSPITAL

MARIA ROWENA MUYUELA

MILLAN

MILLAN AND MARINE

MUYUELA

PHILIPPINE NAVY

SAYYAF

WESTERN MINDANAO COMMAND

  • 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!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with