The military has condemned the Abu Sayyaf Group for launching a mortar attack on a military-led medical mission in Patikul, Sulu.
Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said the bandits fired three rounds of 60-millimetre mortar shells while the Army’s 6th Special Forces Battalion and its partner government agencies and non-government organizations were conducting a medical mission.
Dela Vega said the incident occurred at about 11.30am today (Saturday, February 16) in Barangay Tanum, Patikul.
No one was hurt in the incident as the mortar shells exploded some 200 metres away from Tanum Elementary School, the venue of the medical outreach mission.
“We strongly condemn this terroristic act resulting to the disruption of basic services delivery to the people,” Lt. Gen. Arnel said.
“They bring nothing but destruction that greatly retards achievement of peace and development in Sulu. This is another reason why we have to unite to put end to this menace in our society,” he added.
Colonel Gerry Besana, Westmincom information officer, said the troops estimated that the mortar rounds were fired some 500 metres away east of the school and were “believed to be initiated by the Abu Sayyaf bandits in the area intending to intimidate the populace from availing the free medical services.”
Besana said the medical outreach mission continued despite the mortar shelling by the Islamic State affiliated Islamist group.
Besana said that about 2,000 residents from Barangays Tanum, Sandah, Patikul Higad, and Kadday Mapallam had benefitted from the medial outreach mission.
He said the Joint Task Forces Sulu have deployed troops to track down the terrorist group behind the mortar attack.
Read more about the Abu Sayyaf terror and crime group here.
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