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7 soldiers killed, 13 wounded in Sulu encounter

The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - - Fighting erupted between government troops and the Abu Sayyaf group in a village of Patikul town, Sulu Thursday morning, leaving seven marines, including an officer, dead and 13 others wounded.

The 2nd Marine Brigade based in Barangay Busbus, Jolo confirmed the encounter, adding that a pursuit operation is underway  in Patikul town.

Lt. Col. Ulay, chief of Civil Military Operation (CMO),  said a number of those wounded who are in critical condition have been airlifted to the military hospital at the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom).

Ulay decline to disclose more information. The  military also declined to release additional details pending the approval of the command.

Names of the slain soldiers were not also made available as the victims' families have yet to be notified of the incident.

But an official, who requested not to be named as he is not authorized to make a statement, said two separate encounters broke out at Barangay Kagay when big number of the bandits  attacked the operating marine forces about 6:20 a.m, resulting in the death of an officer.

Fighting ensued as the marines were reinforced but were also attacked by a separate faction of the Abu Sayyaf from another position.

The  clash lasted for more than an hour.

There was no immediate report on the casualty sustained by the  Abu Sayyaf group.

Last month, at least 25 Abu Sayyaf militants were killed in an encounter against the marines who were pursuing to rescue kidnap victims held by the bandits' kidnap for ransom group. - Roel Pareño

ABU SAYYAF

BARANGAY BUSBUS

BARANGAY KAGAY

CIVIL MILITARY OPERATION

MARINE BRIGADE

PATIKUL

ROEL PARE

SULU THURSDAY

ULAY

WESTERN MINDANAO COMMAND

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