ZAMBOANGA CITY -– Ten Abu Sayyaf bandits and seven soldiers were killed while 24 others were wounded in a firefight in the province of Sulu early today, Thursday, a military official disclosed.
Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer Capt. Maria Rowena Muyuela disclosed the firefight broke out around 6:30 a.m. in Sitio Sangay, Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul, Sulu.
Muyuela said the firefight ensued when the troops from the 2nd Marine Brigade chanced upon the Abu Sayyafs bandits led by Hairula Asbang while conducting security patrol.
Muyuela said Asbang is one of the Abu Sayyaf Group’s (ASG) mid-level leaders in the province of Sulu.
She disclosed that most of the government casualties were hit by mortar fires unleashed by the Abu Sayyaf bandits.
She said the troops have recovered the remains of one of the 10 slain Abu Sayyaf bandits as pursuit continues.
“The marines are presently conducting follow on law enforcement operation in coordination with the police to locate and neutralize the ASG,” Muyuela added.