Amid the conduct of intensified military operations against the remaining bandits, troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu engaged in a heavy armed confrontation with members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Patikul, Sulu at around 2:25am today, December 13.
Operating troops of the Philippine Marine Ready Force Sulu encountered more or less 50 ASG members under Majid Emamil on Minis Island, Patikul, Sulu.
Heavy skirmishes ensued, resulting in the killing of three enemies based on body count, while a soldier died and two other personnel incurred minor injuries.
Also recovered in the encounter site were two M14 rifles.
The battle casualties were promptly evacuated to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital for immediate medical attention and proper disposition of the KIA.
Wounded personnel were then airlifted to Camp Navarro General Hospital for further medical treatment.
“We are deeply saddened by the news that another gallant soldier was killed during the recent encounter of our troops with the ASG bandits,” said Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, the commander of the Western Mindanao Command. “Rest assured that we will extend all sorts of assistance to the bereaved family.”
“Moreover, the Joint Task Force Sulu continues to intensify the conduct of offensives against the Abu Sayyaf to neutralize the bandits. All measures are now being undertaken, in accordance with the rules of engagement and with the support of the local government and the populace,” he added.
Pursuit operations are being conducted to neutralize the fleeing enemy.