Troops, Abu Sayyaf clash in Sulu
Roel Pareño (Philstar.com) - January 12, 2016 - 11:02pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Fighting sparked anew when government troops encountered Tuesday afternoon 20 heavily armed Abu Sayyaf militants in the hinterland of Patikul town, Sulu, according to military official.

Col. Alan Arrojado, chief of the Joint Task Group Sulu (JTGS), said the troops from the 32nd Infantry Battalion encountered the group of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Ninok Sapari alias "Alkam" about 3:15 p.m. at Sitio Buanbuan, Barangay Latih.

“The troops were conducting focused military operation and encountered 20 Abu Sayyaf members led by Ninok Sapari,” Arrojado said.

He said the troops initiated the attack, leaving an undetermined militant casualties

The firefight lasted for about five minutes, with no one on the government side killed or wounded.

The troops recovered from the encounter site several belongings of the Abu Sayyaf group, including three backpacks, assorted military and police uniforms, motorcycle, among others.

Arrojado said the troops continued with the pursuit operation while other military units conducted a blocking operation to prevent the Abu Sayyaf bandits from slipping out from the operation zone. 

ABU SAYYAF ALAN ARROJADO ALKAM ARROJADO BARANGAY LATIH BUANBUAN INFANTRY BATTALION JOINT TASK GROUP SULU NBSP NINOK SAPARI PATIKUL
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