Headquarters, Western Mindanao Command, Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City-Operating troops of the 32nd Infantry Battalion led by Lieutenant Colonel Ronaldo Mateo encountered sixty (60) Abu Sayyaf Group members at Sitio Kan Apo Aluk, Barangay Panglayahan, Patikul, Sulu 1:55 pm yesterday (July 11).
The enemies were identified as followers of ASG sub leader Hajan Sawadjaan. The intermittent firefight lasted for two (2) hours which resulted in the death of 1 soldier and wounding of 10 others. Casualties on the enemy side is yet to be determined.
“We believe that a number of bandits were wounded and probably could have died due to loss of blood after yesterday’s encounter,” said Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo, Commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu.
Reinforcements were deployed to block possible withdrawal of the enemy. Troops continue to scour the area.
“We recognize the commitment of our troops to thwart lawlessness, to the point of sacrificing even their lives. This incident gives us more resolve to further intensify our operations against the bandits,” said Lieutenant General Dela Vega, Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.