3 ASG members killed in Basilan clash
MANILA, Philippines – Three members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were reported killed in a gunfight in Sumisip town, Basilan Tuesday morning, a military official said.
Capt. Albert Caber, spokesman of the Army's 1st Infantry Division, said government troops of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion were conducting security patrol when they encountered the terrorists around 11:05 a.m. at Sitio Baag in Guiong village.
"It’s an area where Abu Sayyaf terrorists frequent," Caber said. "The troops clashed with about 100 ASGs and we fortunately won the battle, though some of our operating troops were injured," he said.
Caber said 4 government soldiers were wounded in the gunfight, which lasted for 2 hours.
Caber added that the bodies of the fatalities were retrieved by the Abu Sayyaf.
Caber said 1st ID commander Maj. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz ordered ground commanders "to continue the operations the ASG elements," who killed 5 plantation workers and a militiaman in the July 11 attack also in Sumisip.
On July 26, 10 soldiers were also killed in several clashes with the Abu Sayyaf also in the town.
"He (Cruz) further encouraged the assistance from the provincial officials of Basilan to support the AFP and PNP campaign against lawlessness so that lasting peace and continuing progress in the area will be achieved," Caber said.