BASILAN City, Philippines — Elements of the 18th Infantry Battalion conducted a strike operation targeting the Abu Sayyaf under Siar Alhamsirol and Parong Tedi in Barangay Upper Cabengbeng, Sumisip yesterday November 8..
The military troops were engaged by lawless elements reinforcing Abu Sayyaf fighters near the Basilan Circumferential Road in Sumisip. “As they edged towards the circumferential road, operating troops were met with heavy fire by lawless elements believed to be relatives and sympathizers of the Abu Sayyaf bandits,” Colonel Juvymax Uy, commander of the Joint Task Force Basilan, said.
The Air Force troops provided close air support. On the other hand, the 64th and 68th Infantry Battalions augmented the beleaguered troops.
The offensive lasted for about four hours with an undetermined number of casualties on the Abu Sayyaf. Six soldiers were killed, while four were wounded in action. Their cadavers were transported by the Joint Task Force Basilan to Zamboanga City. Two remains were claimed by the next of kin.
The wounded were promptly evacuated by the troops to the headquarters of the 64th Infantry Battalion and brought to Camp Navarro General Hospital and a private hospital in this city for further medical attention.
“We are sad to report the death of six of your soldiers during the encounter yesterday in Basilan,” Lieutenant General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said. “As we mourn, combat operations against the bandits will be intensified with our intelligence operations and sustained campaign to defeat the remaining terrorists,” the WestMinCom Chief added.-Richard G. Falcatan/Newsline.ph