Five soldiers and three members of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed in a heavy firefight that erupted between government troops and militants Saturday morning (February 2) at Sitio Sungkog, Patikul, Sulu.
The troops of 5th Scout Ranger Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Marlo Jomalesa encountered more or less 150 ASG members who were under the command of Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.
The firefight lasted for almost two hours resulting in the death of five soldiers and wounding of five others.
Three ASG militants were killed and 15 were wounded including Idang Susukan, sub leader of Sawadjaan. — UNTV News and Rescue
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – After exactly 20 days in captivity, authorities finally rescued 58-year-old teacher, Rosa Singua who was abducted in Jolo, Sulu on September 27.
The public school teacher was released after days of military surveillance and a payoff operation wherein the victim’s sister paid P283,000 ransom money at the Jolo port as part of the entrapment operation.
“Dalawa po sa mga abductors ang nakuha natin at tuloy-tuloy ang ating follow up operation ay makuha po natin yung iba pang mga kasamahan nila, (Initially, we arrested two of the abductors but after a series of follow up operations, we were able to arrest the rest of their cohorts),” explained Major Arvin John Encinas, the AFP Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson.
Two of the suspects were identified as Nurina Jura and Nurjia Asakil. Authorities are still verifying as to which group abducted Singua.
Meanwhile, the AFP remains positive that they will be able to rescue a British national and his Filipina wife who were also abducted by unidentified armed men in Tukuran town.
“Saka tayo magsasabi kung ano man yung mga nakuha naming impormasyon (We will divulge the information as) to what lead to the rescue later on,” concluded Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejena, AFP Westmincom Commander. MNP (with reports from Dante Amento)
Four suspected members of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were arrested during the joint operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Zamboanga City on Thursday (September 26).
The arrested individuals were identified as Aljiver Habibula, Omar Julaspih, Rody Marail, and Nash Amik who are all from Sulu province and are currently residing at Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City.
Recovered from the operation are ingredients for Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
According to the PNP, they have been monitoring the suspects for several days. They also clarified they have not received any threats of bombing in Zamboanga City.
“Batay sa briefing ng ating intelligence division ay wala naman talaga tayong threat tungkol diyan. Hindi rin natin masasabi kung ito ba ay may plano (attack) para sa ating fiesta pilar (Based on the briefing of our intelligence division, there are no threats. We also cannot say if they have a planned attack for our festival),” Police Regional Office 9 Spokesperson PMaj. Helen Galvez said.
However, according to AFP Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Maj. Arvin John Encinas, they received a report last month about the ASG’s plan to bomb various areas in the country.
Encinas said this is a part of ASG’s retaliatory attack because their number continues to decrease.
“Maliit na lang iyan pero mayroon silang kakayahan to conduct IED attacks (They may be small but they still have the capacity to conduct IED attacks),” he warned.
Due to this, he reminded the public to immediately report to the authorities any suspicious individuals in their area.
They can contact the PRO-9 office at 0917 506 2000.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is preparing for possible acts of reprisal from the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) following the death of one of its key members in a recent encounter with government troops in Sulu.
According to AFP Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) Spokesperson Maj. Arvin John Encinas, they are not discounting the possibility of retaliatory attacks by the ASG after the younger brother of an ASG leader was killed in a gun battle in Patikul, Sulu last Tuesday (Sept. 10).
Philippine Army’s 41st Infantry Battalion faced around 40 ASG members in a heavy firefight that broke out in Sitio Tubig Pansol in Barangay Langhub.
ASG fighters were said to have retreated after about 20 minutes of gunfight.
Government troops then overran the ASG camp and found a body, which military identified as Nanz Sawadjaan, brother of ASG sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.
Nanz Sawadjaan was one of ASG’s bomb experts who was allegedly involved in Jolo cathedral blast and other recent suicide bomb attacks in Sulu.
Encinas said the death of Sawadjaan is a great loss to the terrorist group.
“Yung pagka-neutralize natin dito sa kapatid ni sub-leader Sawadjaan ay isang malaking dagok sa hanay ng mga Abu Sayyaf Group considering na itong si Nanz Sawadjaan ay trained sa paggawa IED (improvised explosive device),” he said.
(The neutralization of the brother of sub-leader Sawadjaan is a great loss to the Abu Sayyaf group considering that this Nanz Sawadjaan was trained in making IEDs.)
The military said that before the demise of Sawadjaan, they received information about the ASG’s plans to launch a series of suicide bombings in Sulu, including in military detachments.
Last Sept. 8 a female suicide bomber was killed in Indanan town after she tried to attack a military checkpoint by blowing herself up. No one was injured in the blast because soldiers were able to take cover following shouts of alarm from other detachment members.
The AFP assured the readiness of their troops and urged the public to immediately report any suspicious individuals or things spotted in their areas. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)
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