MANILA — Eight people, including six Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits were killed while 25 others were wounded during a heavy encounter with military units in Patikul, Sulu Thursday afternoon.
Fifteen of the wounded were military personnel while the other 10 are all bandits.
Col. Allan Arrojado, Joint Task Group Sulu commander, said the incident took place at 10:30 a.m.
He added that troopers from the 32nd Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Gregorio Nieveras were conducting foot patrols near the vicinity of Bud Bagsak when they spotted an estimated 250 to 300 ASG members in the vicinity of the Sitio Nangka, Barangay Gata, Patikul, Sulu.
Immediately, the troops engaged the Abu Sayyaf in a fierce firefight, killing six ASG men and wounding 10 others.
Meanwhile, government troopers sustained two soldiers dead while 15 others were wounded including two Army officers.
The wounded soldiers were promptly treated by combat medics and they were declared out of danger by attending physicians in a military hospital in Jolo town.
Arrojado promptly deployed additional forces to reinforce the heavily engaged troops while at the same time delivered artillery fire.
“Our forward observer was able to effectively direct artillery fires towards the enemy positions causing more casualties on the enemy side,” he said.
Currently, the ASG is still holding six kidnap victims including European bird-watcher Ewold Horn.