ZAMBOANGA CITY – Government troops killed an Abu Sayyaf militant in a clash Friday that left 4 soldiers wounded in the restive province of Basilan in southern Philippines, officials said.
Officials said the fighting erupted after militants under Nawapi Abdulsaid attacked a group of soldiers in the village of Bohe Pahu in Ungkaya Pukan town. The soldiers were sent to the area after receiving reports that a group of Abu Sayyaf gunmen were spotted in the village.
“It was a heavy gun battle between the elements of the 18th Infantry Battalion and the Abu Sayyaf members led by Nawapi Abdulsaid,” she said, adding, soldiers recovered one M79 grenade rifle and a Carbine rifle, including suspected crystal meth at the clash site.
She said the body of the slain militant was also recovered by soldiers. The wounded infantrymen were airlifted to Zamboanga City for emergency medical treatment.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding 3 Vietnamese sailors they kidnapped off Basilan in November last year. Two other sailors Hoang Thong and Hoang Va Hai were beheaded in the village of Tumahubong in Sumisip town after their families failed to pay ransom. One seaman Huang Vo, was released last month by the Abu Sayyaf in Sumisip town. They were all crew members of the cargo ship MV Royal 16.
The fate of the remaining Vietnamese sailors is unknown. The military said the jihadist group affiliated with the Islamic State is still holding over a dozen foreign captives and 6 Filipinos in the restive region. (Mindanao Examiner)
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