9 killed, 3 hurt in Sulu clash with Abu Sayyaf
Satellite image of Patikul town in Sulu.
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9 killed, 3 hurt in Sulu clash with Abu Sayyaf

Roel Pareño (Philstar.com) - August 1, 2020 - 12:57pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Six Abu Sayyaf members and three soldiers were killed as gunbattle erupted Friday in the mountain of Patikul town, Sulu, security official confirmed here.

The gunbattle, which wounded three soldiers, occurred as troops intensified the security while Sulu province was observing the Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice which was celebrated Friday by the Islam world.

The fresh encounter sparked when members of the Abu Sayyaf terror group fired at the soldiers under the 32nd Infantry Battalion while on combat operation about 11 a.m. in the mountain of Barangay Taong, Patikul town.

The troops quickly retaliated against the Abu Sayyaf group, said Maj. Arvin Encinas, spokesman of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom).

Encinas said gunbattle ensued for almost an hour, prompting the militants to retreat with casualties.

Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS), confirmed that at least six Abu Sayyaf fighters were killed and many others were wounded.

Vinluan also said that at least three soldiers were killed and three others were wounded during the firefight. 

“We were sad we suffered three brave soldiers who paid their ultimate sacrifice to defend and secure the people of Sulu,” Vinluan said.

He said pursuing troops scouring the site recovered the remains of the three out of six Abu Sayyaf members who died and abandoned by their fleeing companions.

The fallen and wounded troopers were immediately extricated from the operation ground and brought to the Military Station Hospital inside Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista based in Barangay Busbus, Jolo.

Encinas said Westmincom chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana assured relentless pursuit to give justice to the fallen troopers.

He said the Westmincom commander also extended its condolences to the families of the fallen troopers and assured that assistance will be provided. 

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