TWO more members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed at the continuation of “Attack and Destroy Mission” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Patikul, Sulu.
Col. Rodrigo Gregorio, spokesman of the Joint Task Force Sulu, said the new encounter erupted at 2:35 p.m. at the mountainous part of Patikul.
This brings the number of slain ASG in a series of firefights between government forces to 32.
Accordingly, elements of the Army’s 35th Infantry Battalion and 21st Infantry Battalion were on patrol in the area as part of intensified rescue and focused military operation against the bandits when they encountered at least 30 bandits led by Jamiri Jaong Jawhari and Basaron Arok.
A firefight ensued, killing the two bandits.
Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brig. Gen. Arnel dela Vega assured the public that there will be no letup in the effort to rescue the remaining hostages, adding the AFP priority is the safe rescue of the victims and protection of local communities in Sulu against terrorists and criminals.
He said he believed that local folk are gradually helping in protecting their own communities against the bandits.