Marines, MILF clash in Basilan, one soldier killed

Posted at 03/20/2009 12:29 AM

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A soldier was reported killed while five others were wounded in a clash with government troops and suspected members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Basilan Thursday.

The Philippine Marines’ Special Operations Platoon-1 was reportedly conducting search and rescue operations for kidnap victim, Lea Lapping Patris , when it encountered a suspected MILF group allegedly under Amir Mingkong in Sitio Bohe Piat in Barangay Baiwas in Sumisip town.

1st Lt. Steffani Cacho, Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command spokesperson, said the exchange of fire between the Marines unit and the unidentified number of MILF rebels lasted for almost an hour.

The skirmish resulted to the killing of a Marines soldier and the wounding of five others. The military official said the group of Mingkong also suffered heavy casualties.

Patris was abducted last February 3 along with Ahmad Illang who is another employee of a microfinance firm in Basilan. After two days, however, Illang was released by the abductors.

Patris has been abducted captive for more than a month now.

Five other kidnap victims are still in the hands of kidnappers in Basilan including Sri Lanakan and Nonviolent Peace Force member Umar Jaleel, the three teachers from Zamboanga City and a nine-year old boy from Lamitan City.