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9 Abu Sayyaf men, 5 soldiers killed in Sulu clash

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – At least 14 people, including five soldiers and nine Abu Sayyaf gunmen,  were killed in a firefight in Talipao, Sulu yesterday.

Initial reports said at least 20 government troops and a still undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf gunmen were wounded during the encounter at Bud Bungao in Talipao.

 Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesperson Capt. Ma. Rowena Muyuela said the troops clashed with combined groups of Abu Sayyaf leaders Radullan Sahiron, Hatib Sawadjaan and Julie Ekit, numbering around 300 gunmen.

A running gunbattle ensued until 6 p.m.

“The fighting resulted in nine of the Abu Sayyaf members killed and undetermined others wounded. The government side suffered at least four soldiers killed in action,” Muyuela said.

However, security escorts of Talipao Mayor Tamrin Tulawie reported retrieving the bodies of five soldiers and rescued 20 others wounded during the fighting.

“It’s a major encounter. As of now the fighting is over. We are tracking their whereabouts. We are pursuing them,” said Col. Allan Arrojado, Sulu Joint Task Group commander.

Two brigades of troops have been deployed to Sulu to augment government forces fighting the Abu Sayyaf in the island province. – Jaime Laude

ABU SAYYAF

ALLAN ARROJADO

BUD BUNGAO

HATIB SAWADJAAN AND JULIE EKIT

JAIME LAUDE

RADULLAN SAHIRON

ROWENA MUYUELA

SULU JOINT TASK GROUP

TALIPAO

TALIPAO MAYOR TAMRIN TULAWIE

WESTERN MINDANAO COMMAND

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