An Abu Sayyaf bandit was killed while two policemen were wounded after they prevented teachers from being kidnapped by the terrorists in Patikul, Sulu on Tuesday.
Reports said policemen from the Patikul Municipal Police Station were escorting the teachers who were travelling from Jolo to Barangay Taung when they crossed paths with around 15 bandits, triggering the firefight at 8:30 a.m.
Wounded during the firefight were Police Master Sergeant Al-Nidzfar Eraji and Patrolman Jordan Changlapon of the Patikul MPS.
The ASG, meanwhile, suffered a still undetermined number of casualties during the firefight.
Shortly after the incident, additional policemen responded to the site of encounter while the wounded lawmen were brought to the hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, in separate encounter in Patikul, a bandit was killed following an encounter with marine troopers in Barangay Bakaan, Banguigui minutes after the attempted kidnapping of the teachers.
Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, said the bandit was killed after Marine troopers from the 3rd Marine Company of exchanged fire with ASG terrorists while on pursuit operations in nearby Sitio Halu-Halu, Simisa Island, Barangay Bakaan, Banguigui, Sulu.
The ASG member’s dead body was recovered in the encounter site along with an M1 Carbine rifle.
“The Joint Task Force Sulu continuously employ more pressure on the remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits to gain more enemy strongholds and armaments,” said Lieutenant General Arnel dela Vega, Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“We believe that a number of the bandits were wounded and probably could have died due to loss of blood after the encounter especially that our troops are still pursuing them as of this report,” Dela Vega said.
“While operations are vigorously undertaken to neutralize the remaining bandits, we still encourage other Abu Sayyaf members to lay down their arms in order to finally have peace in Sulu,” he added.