MANILA—Joint Task Force Sulu units, , killed 10 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists during a two hour-long firefight in Barangay Igasan, Patikul town, Sulu Friday morning.
Col. Cirilo Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, in a message to the Philippine News Agency, said the clash that took place at about 9 a.m. also resulted in the wounding of an undetermined number of ASG terrorists.
Sobejana said government troops encountered about 120 ASG terrorists led by Radullan Sahiron, triggering an intense gunbattle.
“Firefight lasted for 2 hours. The said encounter resulted to the death of at least 10 ASG members including two close relatives of Radullan Sahiron and the wounding of several others,” Sobejana added.
Meanwhile, government casualties were placed at 18 wounded of which the military official said were non-life threatening.
Joint Task Force Sulu troopers are relentlessly pursuing the withdrawing ASG members. Troops are supported with strike helicopters, artilleries and armor assets,” Sobejana stressed.
He added that all killed ASG were confirmed and that their names were in his possession.
Military units in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are conducting intensified operations against the bandits in wake of the beheading of German Juergen Kantner last Feb. 26.
Around 31 hostages are believed to be still in the clutches of the terrorist group.