Three militiamen were killed while six special forces soldiers and 11 other militiamen were wounded in clashes with Islamic State-afilliated Abu Sayyaf Group in Sumisip, Basilan, this morning (Monday, April 10).
Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokeswoman of the Western Mindanao Command, said the first encounter occurred at 7.15am in Barangay Cabcaban. A second second clash unfolded about half an hour later as the terrorists retreated in the face of reinforcements.
The militiamen were members of the Civilian Active Auxiliary. Eight of wounded were taken to Zamboanga City for medical treatment, while the three others were treated in Basilan.
Following the clash, it was reported that military reinforcements were continuing the pursue the fleeing terrorists by following a trail of blood.
Lieutenant Ron Villarosa, the public affairs officer of the 4th Special Forces Battalion, said Abu Sayyaf militants fired M203 grenades at the soldiers. “All of them suffered shrapnel wounds and they are now in stable condition,” he said.
On a more positive note, it has been reported that two Abu Sayyaf terrorists surrendered in Basilan on Saturday, apparently worn down by the military offensive against the group.
Regional commander Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez said: “The surrender only manifests that the pressure employed by the military and the coordination made by the Joint Task Force Basilan with the local government and the people of Basilan have compelled the Abu Sayyaf bandits to surrender to the government forces.
“I commend the men and women of the Joint Task Force Basilan, led by Colonel Juvymax Uy, for this achievement, which is a result of the intensified conduct of focused military operations in the province.
“The military will continue to secure the area and work with the local chief executives to contain the Abu Sayyaf bandits in the barangay.
“This incident will not stop us from doing our mandate, in order to free the community from the terror these bandits are causing the people.”