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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

1 soldier killed, 5 wounded in Basilan offensive vs. Abu Sayyaf

By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY – One soldier was killed, while five others were wounded yesterday (July 12) morning after a bomb exploded in Tipo-Tipo municipality, Basilan, where military operations have been relentless against the Abu Sayyaf terror group.

According to Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) spokesperson Maj. Filemon Tan, an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded at around 6:20 in the morning of July 12 when the troops under the 8th Scout Ranger Company and 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion were conducting clearing operations.

The wounded soldiers are now at Camp Navarro General Hospital in Wesmincom.

“We have been continuing with our operations against these bandits in Basilan and Sulu,” Maj. Tan emphasized, adding that government forces are relentless in the campaign to neutralize the terror group.

Maj. Tan said that government forces have been eyeing an ASG-fortified hill in Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan. “The hill is high ground and it is a strategic advantage for the enemy,” he said, which attributes to the gradual movement of government troops. The hill serves as a temporary camp of the ASG.

He reported that at least 23 ASGs were killed with 20 others wounded during the operations in Basilan and Sulu.

“Heavy firefight is still ongoing involving armored vehicles, artillery fires and close air support against the ASG,” added the army major.

The Abu Sayyaf is known for its terrorist activities including the recent beheading of two Canadians, bombings, and extortion in Southern Philippines.