2 troopers, child killed in Sulu ambush
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - August 14, 2019 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Two government troopers and a three-year-old girl were killed in an ambush by Abu Sayyaf bandits in Talipao, Sulu on Monday.

Maj. Arvin John Encinas, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesman, said a soldier of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion and a militiaman were riding a motorcycle when they were waylaid in Barangay Kagay at around 8:45 a.m.  

The girl identified as Puyang Didang was hit in the crossfire and died while being treated at the Sulu Integrated Provincial Health Office. Her sister Kikang, 10, was wounded and remains confined in the same health facility.

Personnel of the Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) were deployed to assist the family of the children. 

Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., JTFS commander, said he was saddened by the incident, which he described as  “a treacherous and an act of cowardice.”

Vinluan gave assurance that government forces would run after the perpetrators of the attack. 

“We deeply condemn this very deceitful act of the Abu Sayyaf that do not in any way represent the Islamic way of living,” Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Westmincom commander, said.

Sobejana said the relatives of the victims and villagers vowed to help authorities track down the assailants.

Meanwhile, Cpl. Rene Mediana of the Army’s 43rd K9 battalion was wounded when Abu Sayyaf bandits detonated an improvised explosive device in Barangay Igasan, also in Patikul, yesterday.

The military said the explosion followed another bomb attack in Sitio Tibongbong, which targeted police and military personnel providing security to teachers.

No one was reported hurt in the incident. – With Jaime Laude, Emmanuel Tupas

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