5 soldiers, 3 terrorists killed in Sulu clash - AFP
Five soldiers and three Abu Sayyaf bandits, including a foreign terrorist, died in a clash in Sulu on Saturday, military said.
Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command, said the troops of 5th Scout Ranger Battalion, encountered about 150 Abu Sayyaf members under Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan at the vicinity of Sitio Sungkog, Brgy. Kabbon Takas, Patikul, Sulu at around 11:30am.
Besana said the firefight that lasted for about one hour and 50 minutes resulted in the killing of five soldiers and three terrorists.
In a phone interview with the Manila Shimbun, Lt. Col. Gerald Manfort, Joint Task Force Sulu spokesman, confirmed that one of the enemies killed was a foreign terrorist.
But as of press time, he still failed to give the identity and the nationality of the slain foreigner.
He said five other government troopers and 15 terrorists were also wounded in the clash.
Manfort said that Idang Susukan, a sub-leader under ASG leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, reportedly lost his left arm during the encounter.
He also noted that two of the wounded soldiers were in critical condition and they were already airlifted to Zamboanga City for further medical treatment.
Manfort said the government forces have been continuously conducting pursuit operation against the terrorist in the province.
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the military to wipe out the Abu Sayyaf after the two explosions in Jolo cathedral on January 27, killing 22 people and wounding over a hundred others. Robina Asido/DMS