MANILA, Philippines – Five suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed and two soldiers were injured in an encounter between the government troops and the terrorist group in Zamboanga Sibugay on Wednesday (September 9).
Lieutenant Colonel Don Templonuevo, commander of the 44th Infantry Batallion said the clash happened during a joint military and police pursuit operations in Barangay Pres. Roxas, RT Lim in Zamboanga Sibugay around 2 a.m.
Templonuevo said the encounter was the result of their pursuit operations against armed elements of Abral Abdusalam and Sahibad group led by Furuji Indama, an ASG leader based in Basilan.
The clash follows an earlier gun battle between the military and the local terrorist group in Barangay La Paz, Alicia in Zamboanga Sibugay on Sept. 6, he added.
The military said government troops were also able to recover four high-powered firearms after the 30-minute clash against the 10 Abu Sayyaf Group member.
Pursuit operation against the ASG is still on-going.
Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, Commander, 102nd Infantry Brigade, said the group was supposedly planning to conduct kidnapping activities in the region based on information they received from a reliable source.
“The unit would also like to thank the locals who tipped-off the authorities of the presence of these terrorist groups which resulted to the timely response of our troops,” Nicolas said.
Meanwhile, the two wounded soldiers, whose identities are yet to be disclosed, were airlifted to Camp Navarro General Hospital, Zamboanga City for proper medical attention.
Both soldiers are now in stable condition, the military reported.
Police operatives have arrested an alleged Abu Sayyaf Group sub-leader on Wednesday (August 26).
PBGen. Jesus Cambay Jr., Director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) for Zamboanga Peninsula, identified the individual as Jamiul Nassalon.
“Nassalon was arrested after a 3-hour travel using high-speed sea craft which surreptitiously entered the shorelines of Mabuhay municipality,” based on the report of PRO Region 9.
Authorities arrested Nassalon during an operation at Barangay Caliran, Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Nassalon uses several aliases including Ustad Amih, Abu Harris, Abu Janar and Abu Jamih. He is allegedly involved in several kidnappings and beheading of their captives.
“He also got involved in the massacre of 8 fishermen in Siromon Waters, Barangay Dita, Zamboanga City on January 9, 2017,” the report added.
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 16 and 32 of the 9th Judicial Region, Zamboanga City have filed Warrants of Arrest for crimes of Serious Illegal Detention with Ransom, Multiple Attempted Murder, both non-bailable, and Attempted Murder against Nassalon. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
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