By Francis Wakefield and Bonita Ermac
ILIGAN CITY – Three Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists were killed following an encounter with soldiers in Indanan, Sulu early Thursday morning, the military disclosed Friday.
The military said troops of the Second Special Forces Battalion (2nd SFB) conducted a combat-strike operation in Barangay Kuppong, Indanan, Sulu at 4:30 a.m. Thursday, leading to an encounter and the neutralization of the three ASG members.
During the clearing operation, the troops recovered the body of the slain ASG member identified as Pakan Sakam Sappari, alias Last Pangit, and a caliber .45 pistol with a magazine and four rounds of ammunitions. The two others remained unidentified as of press time.
“Pakam Sakam Sappari was a skilled sea navigator identified with various ASG sub groups, the latest of which was the group of the late ASG sub leader Alden Bagade,” Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo, commander of the military’s Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu.
“He was reportedly involved in several kidnapping activities,” he added.
No casualty was reported on the government side.
Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, the chief of the AFP Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), commended the troops for a job well done.
“Keep it up and show the people of Sulu our resolve to clear the province of the menace,” Dela Vega said.
“We also thank the community and the people of Sulu for their contribution for this recent success of our forces,” he added.
JTF Sulu, in coordination with the Local Government and the populace, has had a series of accomplishments these past weeks against the ASG.