3 Abu Sayyaf slain in Sulu clash
Several bandits were also believed wounded in the attack launched by troopers from the Army's 6th Special Forces Battalion, according to Capt. Rex Payot, spokesman for the Army's 11th Infantry Division based in Jolo.
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3 Abu Sayyaf slain in Sulu clash
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - April 7, 2020 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Three suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed while two soldiers were wounded in a military offensive in the hinterlands of Patikul, Sulu on Saturday.

Several bandits were also believed wounded in the attack launched by troopers from the Army's 6th Special Forces Battalion, according to Capt. Rex Payot, spokesman for the Army's 11th Infantry Division based in Jolo.

Troopers encountered more than 30 followers of  Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan in Sitio Gabang, Barangay Kaunayan at around  5 a.m., Payot said.

Sawadjaan and his followers had pledged allegiance to  the Islamic State terror group.

He was blamed for several bomb attacks in Sulu last year.

The firefight lasted 35 minutes before the bandits retreated in different directions, taking with them their wounded and slain comrades. 

Pursuing troopers received information  confirming the death of three bandits.

They found bloodstains along the bandits’ escape route.

The wounded soldiers were taken to a military hospital for treatment.

The encounter was the result of continuous efforts  launched by the military to flush out the remaining terrorists in Sulu.

Last month 10 bandits surrendered to the military. 

Payot said the offensive was also a result of a meeting between Col. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the Army’s  1102nd Brigade commander,  and the Moro National Liberation Front, wherein they discussed joint mechanism and peace efforts in fighting the bandit group.

Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of Army’s 11th Infantry  Division, gave the assurance that the momentum to eradicate the Abu Sayyaf would continue even amid  the government’s fight to contain the coronavirus disease 2019.

“Soldiers will continue efforts to eradicate the bandits who  hinder development in Sulu. Let us continue our united stand, together with stakeholders and local government units, to end armed conflict,” Vinluan said.

ABU SAYYAF
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