THE Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has suffered another two fatalities in a clash as government forces continue to pursue the bandits in the hinterlands of Sulu, the military said Friday.
Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said the clash happened Wednesday afternoon in the village of Latih, Patikul town.
Sobejana said this came about as the blocking force from the Army’s 5th Special Forces Company chanced upon a group of fleeing Abu Sayyaf bandits.
The Abu Sayyaf bandits belong to the group of bandits who figured in a firefight with the Scout Rangers on Tuesday in Panglahayan, also in Patikul.
Tuesday’s clash resulted to the death of five Abu Sayyaf bandits and six soldiers injured. Sobejana said he immediately sent two Special Forces teams and Cafgu Active Auxiliary (CAA) members to reinforce the troops at the clash site.
He said the soldiers recovered the remains of a slain Abu Sayyaf in a clearing operation after the bandits fled to different directions.
He said the slain bandit was later identified by the barangay officials as Roger Samlahon, an Urban Terrorist Group member, who was involved in kidnapping incidents in Jolo, Sulu.
He said the troops have also recovered from the clash site an R4A3 assault rifle, one grenade launcher, two cellular phones, and backpack with personal belongings.
“We will give him a decent burial, we are just waiting for the officials of the Barangay to claim the remains,” Sobejana said.
“We also learned that another Abu Sayyaf died from the firefight, but we are still on the process of knowing where he was buried,” he added.
Helicopter gunships provided aerial support as the ground forces continue to scour the hinterlands of Patikul in pursuit of the fleeing Abu Sayyaf bandits.
The Abu Sayyaf bandits are still hodling captives 10 hostages consisting of three Indonesians, one Dutch, one Vietenamese, and five Filipinos.