Lawless element slain, guns seized in Sirawai clash

Government forces neutralized a member of a lawless group and seized two firearms of the bandits in a fierce gun battle in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte on January 22.

The slain bandit was identified as Jul Hassan, a member of the Jamilon Tukalan Group tagged in the series of kidnapping and extortion activities in Zamboanga del Norte.

Composite elements of the 42nd Infantry Battalion and the Team Regional Mobile Force Battalion patrolled the area when they encountered five members of the group in Barangay Panabutan, Sirawai at 7:25pm last night.

Soldiers and policemen recovered a Caliber .45 pistol, a Caliber .38 Revolver, and a hand grenade of the lawless group.

“We will continue to operate with the police to quell lawless armed groups in our area of responsibility,” said Colonel Bagnus Gaerlan, the 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander.

At 10pm yesterday, the troops brought the cadaver of Hassan to the Regional Health Unit in Sirawai for examination and disposition.

“Our campaign against armed groups will be relentless in order to minimize the atrocities and attain a just and lasting peace in our area of operations,” said Major General Roseller Murillo, the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Arnel DelaVega, the commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said, “This is an offshoot of our continued engagement with the police and our shared commitment to sustain the internal security in the area.”

Law enforcement support operations will be intensified in ZamPeLan area, added Lieutenant General Dela Vega.

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