Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MILF: Heavy skirmishes between Government soldiers and rebel forces rage in Basilan

From the MILF Website (Apr 16): Heavy skirmishes between Government soldiers and rebel forces rage in Basilan

Heavy skirmishes took place about 2AM of Friday, April 11 in the town of Tipo-Tipo, Basilan when combined members of the Philippine Army Scout Rangers and 18th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) raided Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) lair headed by Puruji Indama at Barangay Silangkum, Tipo-Tipo. 
In an early report by the military however said that the encounter took place at Kurellem, Ungkaya Pukan town about 2.5 Kms. from Baguindan, Tipo-Tipo that resulted to the death of three ASG members and wounding of 19 soldiers. Reliable source said that the wounded soldiers are confined and recuperating in a military hospital in Zamboanga City.

The raid at the village of Kurellem lasted about two hours when the bandits scrambled to safety and ran away towards different directions after the death of their comrades. Pursuing soldiers supported by two jetfighter planes, four MG 520 Helicopter Gunships and artillery encroached on an MILF perimeter defence at Baguindan under Chairman Hamsa Sapatun of the Basilan Political Committee is located.

At 9AM the same day a fierce gun battle ensued between government troops and MILF Forces with the soldiers aided by more truckloads of reinforcements and Simba Tanks.  The exchange of fire halted at around 11PM. Unconfirmed reports said that civilians saw a number of government fatalities at Tabian Brigade at Isabela City due to the skirmishes at Baguindan.

Reports from the ground said the MILF suffered three martyrs namely; Basir or Buka Kerok, Soy Tarung & Mohammad Soh. Slightly wounded were Totong Ausal and Muthim Imam. One civilian was also killed identified as Julamri Bapakil and wounded were Adzmar Abdurahim, 14 years old, Hudri Julamri, 16 years old, Basri Pamasad and Jihad Abdurajim, 17 years old. The movement of the AFP soldiers was not in any way coordinated with CCCH neither the military informed the AHJAG. The encounter could had been avoided had the military coordinated with the GPH-MILF CCCH and the International Monitoring Team. The raid at Kurellem against the Abu Sayyaf lasted only for two hours as they ran away but the exchanged of gun fires between the aggressed MILF Forces and the government troops took several hours.

Heavy damages were also reported on a school building, madrasah, mosque and agricultural crops due to relentless artillery shelling and helicopter gunship machinegun fire.

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