By Bonita Ermac
ILIGAN CITY – At least three Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants were believed killed in offensive launched by the 21st Infantry Battalion against the bandit group in Patikul, Sulu Saturday, May 16.
“As our troops penetrate the strongholds and close in on enemies, they will continuously employ reasonable amount of combat power to pressure and debilitate the terror group in Sulu,” said Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) Commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.
Government forces were initially able to recover the body of an ASG fighter, together with high-powered firearm, after a ferocious clash in Sitio Tubig, Paliya, Danag at 10:44 a.m.
The troops conducted a blockade, and engaged about 20 militants in the area.
Their forces were later augmented as they blocked all the possible withdrawal routes of the enemies.
Joint Task Force Sulu Commander Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. said bloodstains were found in positions the ASGs abandoned to make good their retreat that indicated they suffered heavy casualties.
The bodies of two more ASG militants were reportedly recovered along the escape routes.
“We will sustain our security operations against the terrorists until we win the peace in Sulu and other parts of WesMinCom.” Sobejana said.