MANILA –Five more Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits were killed as government troops continue to conduct offensive against the brigands in Maimbung town, Sulu Sunday afternoon, Joint Task Force Sulu commander Col. Cirilito Sobejana said Monday.
In an interview, Sobejana said Jabeer Susukan, brother of ASG sub-leader Idang Susukan, was among the five bandits killed by the military.
The encounter took place shortly after the 4:30 a.m. clash in Barangay Lumipad, Talipao, Maimbung, which killed four ASG brigands and resulted in the capture of seven high-powered firearms, including two M-203 grenade launchers.
The second encounter, which took place 5 a.m., resulted in the death of five more ASG men, Sobejana said.
With this development, around 19 bandits were reported killed within the 72 hour period beginning March 3 and ending on March 5.
Sobejana said firefight in the encounter area was intermittent due to the difficult and swampy terrain.
The military has been intensifying its operations against the ASG bandits following the beheading of German captive Juergen Kantner last Feb. 26 after his government refused to pay Php 30 million ransom.
An estimated 31 hostages are still at the clutches of the bandits as of this posting.