BASILAN (DWDD) – Personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines were engaged by lawless elements reinforcing Abu Sayyaf fighters, following a military strike launched against the beleaguered bandits yesterday. November 9, in Basilan.
Elements of the 18th Infantry Battalion conducted a strike operation targeting the Abu Sayyaf under Siar Alhamsirol and Parong Tedi in Barangay Upper Cabengbeng, Sumisip at 12:41 in the afternoon yesterday (November
The beleaguered bandits were, however, reinforced by lawless elements that engaged the troops near the Basilan Circumferential Road in Sumisip.
“As they edged towards the circumferential road, operating troops were met with heavy fire by lawless elements believed to be relatives and sympathizers of the Abu Sayyaf bandits,” said Colonel Juvymax Uy, Commander of the Joint Task Force Basilan.
Said offensives lasted for about four hours with an undetermined number of casualties on the Abu Sayyaf and on said lawless elements.
Close air support was provided by the Air Force troops at 2:11pm yesterday.
Meanwhile, troops of the 64th and 68th Infantry Battalions augmented the beleaguered troops in the engagement area.
Six soldiers were killed, while four were wounded in action as a result.
Their cadavers were subsequently transported by the Joint Task Force Basilan to Zamboanga City. Two remains were claimed by the next of kin.
The wounded were promptly evacuated by the troops to the headquarters of the 64th Infantry Battalion. They were subsequently brought to Camp Navarro General Hospital and a private hospital in this city for further medical attention.
“We are sad to report the death of six of your soldiers during the encounter yesterday in Basilan,” said Lieutenant General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“As we mourn, combat operations against the bandits will be intensified with our intelligence operations and sustained campaign to defeat the remaining terrorists,” the WestMinCom Chief added. “Rest assured that this will not stop us from crushing the enemies of the state.” WESTMINCOM PIO / MCAG