2 Marine troopers hurt in Abu clash
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - March 18, 2019 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Two Marine soldiers were wounded in an encounter with Abu Sayyaf bandits in the island town of Banguingui in Sulu on Friday night.

Cpl. Syruss Valenzuela and Pvt. Jude Louis Nabalan suffered gunshot wounds in their bodies.

Reports said that troopers of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 3 under Lt. Col. Ramil Holgado were patrolling in Sitio Kabahayan, Barangay Bakkan when they encountered the followers of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Salip Mura at past 6 p.m.

The firefight reportedly forced residents of the nearby village of Simusah to evacuate to safer grounds for fear of a spillover of the fighting.

Medan Abduraman, chairman of Barangay Bakkan, and Jaifa Abduraman, chief of the relief operation, said food packs were distributed to the evacuees.

The firefight was part of the military’s intensified operations in Sulu against the bandit group.

A day before, Marine troopers arrested four men in a motorized banca loaded with 38 sacks of ammonium nitrate and other bomb paraphernalia.

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