A soldier was killed while nine other military forces were injured in an encounter with suspected members of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf in Patikul, Sulu, on Monday.
According to the initial information from the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), the government troops from the 32nd Infantry Battalion clashed with a still unknown number of rebels in Sitio Tubig Bukayon, Barangay Pansul.
Joint Task Force Sulu chief Major General Corleto Vinluan said the military is conducting hot pursuit operations against the Abu Sayyaf, who was able to escape.
The number of casualties on the terrorists’ side was still undetermined, the military added.
WestMinCom commander Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, meanwhile, assured the public that the government troops would protect communities against terrorism and lawless elements such as the Abu Sayyaf.
Sobejana also said the government would be assisting the family of the soldier who died in the encounter.
Abu Sayyaf attacks in Sulu amid pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf from sowing fear and terrorizing people in Sulu.
In April, Six members of the terror group were killed while eight soldiers were wounded in an encounter also in Patikul.
Maj. Arvin John Encinas, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesman, said the rebels withdrew after about 35 minutes of exchanging fires with the military.
Encinas said the troops recovered the bodies of the three killed bandits. They were identified as Guro Khalid, Udal Muhamadar Said, and an alias Budah.
In May, three members of the Abu Sayyaf Group were killed while five soldiers were wounded in a clash in Patikul.
The troops were planning a blockade when they encountered the armed bandits under the sub-group leader Ellam Nasirin.
After a few minutes, the Abu Sayyaf group escaped the encounter site.
Last week, two policemen were killed while two others were injured when members of the ASG attacked the Parang Municipal Police Station in Sulu.
According to the report to Camp Crame, an unidentified number of armed groups attacked the Parang Municipal Police Station located in Brgy. Poblacion, Parang, Sulu at around 6:30 pm.
The exchange of gunfire lasted for several minutes and killed two police officers. The suspected terrorists fled to the town of Indanan.