Rangers neutralized 12 Abu Sayyaf militants in four consecutive clashes in Sulu yesterday (April 11).
At about 10:37am yesterday, troops of the 32nd Infantry Battalion engaged about 120 ASG terrorists led by Radullan Sahiron and Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan in Sitio Bud Taming, Barangay Panglayahan, Patikul, Sulu.
The firefight lasted for 45 minutes after which the enemy withdrew towards southwest direction.
Moreover, while conducting focused military operation, operating troops of the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion under Major John Reysanti Aling engaged 80 Abu Sayyaf members under Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan and Almujer Yadah in Sitio Kan-isnain, Barangay Kabbon Takas, Patikul, Sulu at 3:43 pm yesterday.
Enemies immediately scampered to different direction while they are being pursued by the government troops.
Then, while establishing blockade at 5:13pm yesterday, troops of the 3rd Scout Ranger Company, 1st Scout Ranger Battalion encountered 10 bandits in Sitio Tambang of same barangay.
The gunfight lasted for 2 hours and 30 minutes, after which enemies withdrew, bringing along with them other casualties.
Also, amid hot pursuit operation on fleeing enemies previously encountered by the troops, soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Battalion engaged with another group of Abu Sayyaf bandits still in Sitio Tambang, Barangay Kabbon Takas at 5:26pm of the same day.
The enemies were previously encountered by the 1SRB troops.
Reports from the ground disclosed that 10 of the engaged militants died in the series of offensives and many others were severely wounded.
Operating troops further retrieved two cadavers of Abu Sayyaf militants in the area of encounter.
Also recovered in the area were a pair of Night Vision Goggles, 40 makeshift tents, 50 water gallons, and five sacks of rice.
Meanwhile, five wounded rangers were immediately evacuated by the troops to the nearest hospital for medical attention.
Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo Jr, the Joint Task Force Sulu Commander, said the support and cooperation of the local community led to the successful conduct of operations and that troop morale is also high due to the people’s continuous support.
“I commend the troops of the JTF Sulu for the recent accomplishments,” said Western Mindanao Command Chief Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega.
“The merging of the enemy groups from different sub-leaders only shows that we are gaining grounds and they are getting weaker,” he added.
“Rest assured that our operations will be further intensified so as to eliminate the enemies and to establish peaceful and progressive communities in Sulu,” he concluded.
Troops continue to scour the area of engagement.