17 killed in Sulu clash

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

ZAMBOANGA -- Ten Abu Sayyaf bandits and seven soldiers were killed while 24 others were wounded in a gun battle in the province of Sulu, a military official said Thursday.

Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer Captain Maria Rowena Muyuela said the clash broke out around 6:30 a.m. Thursday at Sitio Sangay in the village of Buhanginan, Patikul, Sulu.

Muyuela said the fighting ensued when the marine troops chanced upon the Abu Sayyaf bandits while conducting security patrol.

Muyuela said the Abu Sayyaf bandits who figured in a firefight with the government forces are led by Hairula Asbang, one of the Abu Sayyaf Group's (ASG) mid-level leaders.

She said most of the government casualties were hit by mortar fire unleashed by the Abu Sayyaf bandits.

She said the troops recovered the remains of one of the 10 slain Abu Sayyaf bandits.

"The marines are presently conducting a follow-up on law enforcement operation in coordination with the police to locate and neutralize the ASG," she added.

Muyuela did not release the identities of the seven slain and 24 wounded soldiers except in saying they belong to the 2nd Marine Brigade based in Sulu. (Bong Garcia/Sunnex)

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