FOUR more members of the Abu Sayyaf Group were killed after troops encountered two squads of bandits in two separate forested areas in Sumisip, Basilan, Saturday afternoon.
Capt. Jo-Ann Pentinglay, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, said the four bandits were pinned down in Barangays. Cabcaban and Bembengan in Sumisip town at 2 p.m.
Pentinglay said the slain bandits were part of a group of 15 to 20 terrorists.
Pentinglay said the bandits were in two separate groups when intercepted by the Army’s 4th Special Forces Battalion and 18th Infantry Battalion under the Joint Task Force Basilan who were on patrol.
The first firefight occurred at Brgy. Upper Bembengan at 2 p.m. Two bandits were killed and several others were wounded.
Troops later intercepted the fleeing bandits, killing two more in Cabcaban village in Sumisip town at 9 p.m.
Troops clearing the area discovered a temporary encampment near the encounter site.
Last week, two prominent ASG sub-leaders were killed in separate clashes in Inabanga, Bohol and Indanan, Sulu as the military stepped up its attacks on the terrorist group.
AAlhabsy Misaya, one of the most dreaded bandits operating in Sulu, was killed by Marines.
Days after Misaya’s death, security forces intercepted and killed Muamar Askhali, alias Abu Rami, who was behind the beheading of two Canadian and a German hostage.
Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Año predicted the eventual defeat of the ASG following a series of setbacks that the terrorist group suffered, with the death of dozens of its members in various encounters in Sulu and Basilan.
On Sunday, suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters set off an improvised bomb along the national highway in Datu Hofer, Maguindanao, the second roadside bombing in the province in less than 24 hours.
“The roadside bombs were meant for government forces cruising the road network,” Capt. Arvin John Encinas, 6th Infantry Division spokesperson, said.
Encinas said the Army had launched artillery attacks toward nearby Datu Salibo town in Maguindanao where the BIFF was planning to overrun an Army base in the village of Pagatin.
Datu Salibo and Datu Hofer are about 15 kilometers apart.
The roadside bomb Sunday morning missed a convoy of soldiers under the 57th Infantry Battalion conducting road security patrol, Encinas said.
At 6 p.m. Saturday, suspected BIFF members set off a bomb in Barangay Pagatin that damaged two tires of a Simba armored personnel carrier, Encinas said. No casualties were reported. With PNA
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