Friday, December 18, 2020

5 soldiers wounded in Sayyaf clashes in Sulu

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Five soldiers were wounded in sporadic clashes with pro-ISIS militants in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, officials said Friday.

The fighting erupted in Patikul town on Thursday after members of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion ran into a group of Abu Sayyaf gunmen who were fleeing from pursuing security forces in Pansul village. 

Several gunmen were believed killed or wounded in the clashes after troops spotted bloodstains along an escape route used by the Abu Sayyaf. Soldiers also recovered provisions and other materials left behind by the militants. 

At least two ranger battalions were battling the Abu Sayyaf under Radulan Sahiron. 

“The rangers were establishing blockade a few meters away from the first encounter site in Barangay Pansul when they encountered the fleeing enemies. A fierce firefight ensued which lasted for about 30 minutes after which the enemy withdrew bringing along their casualties with them,” said Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu. 

The wounded soldiers were rushed to a military hospital in the capital town of Jolo, according to Lt. Col. Felicito Cutit, commander of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion. 

“We are certain that the ASG incurred numerous casualties as evidenced in the bloodstains in the encounter site,” he said.

Military operations continued Friday in the town’s hinterlands, but there was no report from fresh fighting between security forces and militants. (Zamboanga Post) 

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