By Aaron Recuenco
Three policemen and a member of a community defense team were wounded in an ambush allegedly perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Patikul town, Sulu on Wednesday evening.
Brig. Gen. Marni Marcos, director of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) regional police, said the wounded suffered minor injuries mostly from shrapnel.
He identified them as Police Chief Master Sergeant Sali Marajani, Police Senior Master Sergeant Adil Ahandain Salamat, Police Corporal Halkim Ahadin Ibno, and Nurhan Ali, a member of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT).
The seven ASG men were reportedly about to attack a BPAT outpost in Barangay Buhanginan at around 7 p.m. on Wednesday when a police patrol car happened to pass by.
As a result, the ASG men focused their attack on the patrol car, triggering a gun battle.
Although wounded, the policemen stood their ground and engaged the Abu Sayyaf in a firefight.
The ASG men fled after a few minutes of gunfight, fearing reinforcement as the ambush site is just 500 meters away from a military camp, Marcos said.
“The ASG attackers belong to the group of Mundi Sawadjaan, known bomb maker in the said locality,” he added.
The official said the investigation of the incident area resulted in the recovery of several empty shells of M16 and M203 ammo.
“Bloodstains were also discovered in the position of the ambushers which means that some were also wounded,” Marcos said.