From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 15): Armed civilians foil Abu Sayyaf attack, kill 2 members in Sulu
Armed civilians helping secure workers for various government projects in Patikul, Sulu, foiled an Abu Sayyaf attack on Friday and killed two members of the bandit group.
However, three people, including two high students, were also injured when some 40 Abu Sayyaf gunmen clashed with members of the Barangay Peace Action Team (BPAT) in Barangay Taglibi past 1 p.m.
Col. Allan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Group Sulu, said BPAT members, led by Taglibi village councilor Akam Ajijul, were securing trucks hauling aggregates for use in various government projects in the town when the bandits suddenly arrived and indiscriminately fired their guns.
Arrojado said Ajijul’s group battled and repulsed the bandits, who left behind two of their slain companions.
Among the slain Abu Sayyaf bandits, he said, was Tista Hussien, whose father, Juhurim Hussein, once served as an Abu Sayyaf sub-leader. The other slain bandit was identified as an Apong Kiri.
He said as they withdrew toward neighboring Barangay Kabuntakas, the Abu Sayyaf gunmen fired rifle grenades and injured three villagers.
The three wounded victims who had been sent to were identified as Nurhaida Jadja, 18; Marni Suhuri, 17, and Hadji Anni Abubayong, 61. Jadja and Suhuri were students of the Taglibi National High School.
Arrojado said the timely response of the BPAT clearly foiled the Abu Sayyaf attack.
“They responded immediately,” he said.
Prior to the Taglibi attack, the same group of bandits under Muammar Askali burned an abandoned military detachment in the village.
They also reportedly fired on an engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways and a BPAT member, who were passing by the area.
The Abu Sayyaf is a ragtag band of self-styled Islamists who have become notorious for its high-profile kidnappings in previous years.
The military’s continued operation against the group—which resulted in the killing of its top leaders including founder Abubakar Janjalani since the 1990s—barely affected Abu Sayyaf’s kidnapping and extortion activities.
Recently, the group also beheaded the chair of Aliguay, Dapitan City, whom they kidnapped in May along with two personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard, for reportedly failing to receive the ransom they demanded.
Rodolfo Boligao’s severed head and body were recovered in Maimbung town on Tuesday.