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Five ASG bandits killed in clash with Army men in Zamboanga Sibugay


FIVE suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed while two soldiers were wounded in a predawn clash between the local bandit group and security forces on Wednesday in Zamboanga Sibugay.

The firefight, which occurred at around 2 a.m. in Barangay President Roxas, RT Lim, Zamboanga Sibugay, transpired as soldiers and policemen embarked on pursuit operations against the bandits following an encounter days earlier.

“This is the result of our pursuit operations against the armed elements of Abral Abdusalam and Sahibad Group led by Furuji Indama after our encounter in Barangay La Paz, Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay, dawn of Sunday, September 6, 2020,” said Lt. Col. Don Templonuevo, commander of the Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion.

The troops recovered four high powered firearms after the 30-minute clash against the 10 ASG members under Indama.

Pursuit operation continued, even as the bodies of the slain bandits are still being identified.

Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, commander of the 102nd Infantry Brigade, said the bandit group is planning to conduct kidnap for ransom activities in Zamboanga Peninsula based on reports gathered from informants.

Last year, a British national and his Filipino wife were abducted by the ASG in Zamboanga Sibugay and were taken to Sulu where they were rescued by the military a month later.

“The unit would also like to thank the locals who tipped off the authorities about the presence of these terrorist groups which resulted to the timely response of our troops,” Nicolas said.

Maj. Gen. Gene Ponio, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, lauded the 44th IB and the Philippine National Police for the successful encounter against the ASG. 

“Terrorism has no place in the area of responsibility of the 1st Infantry Division and we urged the locals to remain vigilant and report to local authorities any presence of threats in their locality,” Ponio said.

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