By Roel Pareño
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – At least three Abu Sayyaf militants and a trooper were killed while 15 soldiers were wounded in a firefight between bandits and government troops yesterday morning in Patikul town, Sulu, the military said.
The encounter erupted when troops zeroed in on the location of the Abu Sayyaf group after getting a tip from two kidnapped Filipino fishermen rescued on Friday.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS), said troops from the 21st Infantry Battalion led by Maj. Christopher Genzola engaged heavily armed Abu Sayyaf gunmen under the command of Almujer Yaddah in a one-hour firefight at Sitio Darayan at the boundary of Barangays Danag and Buhanginan around 8:45 a.m. yesterday.
During the clearing operations, troops recovered the body of an unidentified Abu bandit at the encounter site, Sobejana said.
“Our forces on the ground also spotted the bandits dragging away two bodies of their companions who appeared to be dead,” he said.
The killed soldier and wounded were brought to the military hospital in Jolo.
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