7 Marines wounded in Sulu encounter
Roel Pareño (Philstar.com) - April 22, 2016 - 6:32am
ZAMBOANGA CITY — At least seven marines were wounded on Friday in an encounter against the Abu Sayyaf in the hinterlands of Sulu, the military said.
The hour-long encounter happened during a search and rescue operation for the kidnap victims of the terror group.
Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesman of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said that specialized forces from the Special Operations Command 10 and 62nd Marine Company battled the Abu Sayyaf  led by Hairullah Asbang at around 11 a.m. at the vicinity of Barangay Tugas, a mountainous village in Patikul town.
Tan said there were also casualties from the Abu Sayyaf but could not immediately determine the figure as the terror group retreated into the ragged terrain and forest lush.
He added that there was no immediate sighting of any hostages during the encounter.
The encounter sparked as the military intensified the search and rescue operation to avert the Abu Sayyaf from harming any of its captives following its ultimatum that will lapse on Monday.  
They are demanding P300 million each for the Samal captives which include Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, and a Filipino woman named Marites Flor.
Aside from the four captives, the Abu Sayyaf is also believed to have abducted a Dutch national, 14 Indonesians, four Malaysians, a Chinese woman, and six Filipinos.
Tan said that after the encounter the seven wounded Marines were airlifted and brought to Camp Navarro General Hospital (CNGH) in this city for treatment.

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