ZAMBOANGA CITY – Six members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and three soldiers were killed in an encounter in Patikul, Sulu, at noon Friday, July 31.
In a report released by the Armed Force of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) early Saturday, troops of the 32nd Infantry Battalion (32nd IB) were fired upon by undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members in Barangay Taong, Patikul, Sulu at 11 a.m. July 31.
Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu Commander Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan said an exchange of gun fire ensued which resulted in the death of six ASG gunmen and three soldiers, and the wounding of three other soldiers.
“It is with deep sadness to report that three of our brave soldiers succumbed to death while defending the people of Sulu,” Vinluan said.
“We seek for prayers for the eternal repose of their souls and for the speedy recovery of the wounded soldiers,” Vinluan added.
While scouring the encounter site, troops recovered the remains of three of the six slain enemies, and noticed blood stains all over the escape route of the enemy.
The soldiers immediately pulled from the battle area the government casualties while the wounded soldiers were brought to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital for treatment.
Identities of the slain terrorists remained unidentified, while those of the military casualties were withheld pending notification to their next of kin.
Armed Force of the Philippines- Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) Commander Lt Gen Cirilito Sobejana said: “The men and women of WestMinCom commiserates with the bereaved families of our fallen heroes who dedicated their life serving their beloved country.”
“Our forces from the JTF Sulu are determined to pursue the fleeing enemies in honor of their fallen comrades,” Sobejana added.