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Abu Sayyaf killed in latest Sulu clash


Government troops killed a suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorist during a gunbattle on Monday in Patikul, Sulu Province.

Troops of the Army’s 1st Infantry Battalion were conducting rescue operations for kidnap victims when they encountered more or less 60 Abu Sayyaf Group members under Almujer Yadah and Idang Susukan in Barangay Bungkaong, Patikul, Sulu at 9 in the morning, Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) spokeperson Lt. Col. Gerry Besana said in a statement.

"Due to the superior firepower of the government forces, the bandits were forced to withdraw and escape," he added.

"One enemy was killed, based on dead body recovered during the clearing operation, identified as a.k.a Muin while no casualty was recorded on the government side. Also recovered in the encounter site was one M16 rifle."

The firearm is temporarily under the custody of the Joint Task Force Sulu prior turnover to higher headquarters.

Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, WestMinCom chief,  said the latest encounter only shows how persistent their forces are to track down the terrorist groups wherever they go to make sure that they are decimated and that remaining kidnap victims are also rescued.

"We also have to give due recognition to the support of the local community in directing our troops to the terrorists’ location proving that they are already tired of the menace they bring to their locality,” said Dela Vega.

To date, a total of 38 ASG members were killed during encounters: 32 were slain in Sulu and 6 in Basilan since January 2018.

Late last month,  President Rodrigo Duterte ordered soldiers to destroy and kill Abu Sayyaf terrorists, particularly those who subscribe to the extremist ideology of the Islamic State (IS).

The President's order came after the military suffered several casualties, wherein 22 were wounded-in-action in a clash with members of the kidnap-for-ransom group in Sulu on August 23. Hader Glang

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