Operating troops of the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion encountered more or less 30 Abu Sayyaf Group members under Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan in Sitio Kan Mindang, Barangay Pangdanon, Patikul, Sulu at 8am of October 30, 2019.
Firefight ensued that lasted for about 50 minutes, after which enemy withdrew bringing along their casualties with them.
“We believe that a number of bandits were wounded and probably could have died due to loss of blood for our troops have seen lots of bloodstains in the enemy position and in their withdrawal route,” said Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, JTF Sulu commander.
Said encounter resulted in the wounding of 5 soldiers who were immediately extricated from the encounter site and are currently recuperating at Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Busbus, Jolo.
Recovered from the encounter site were 5 Improvised Explosive Devices, medical supplies, food supplies, 30 pieces empty gallons, personal belongings, detonating cord, 10-15 meters lead wire, 15 kilos rice, poncho, laminated sacks, 1 hammock, empty shells of 5.56mm and 7.62 mm link, and 2 backpacks.
The encounter further resulted in the discovery of an enemy encampment in Barangay Panglayahan of same municipality.
“The enemy encampment can accommodate more or less 50 persons,” Maj. Gen. Vinluan added.
While pursuing the fleeing enemies, operating troops chanced upon more or less 10 abus under Mundi Sawadjaan and Yusop in Sitio Kanlimbungan, Barangay Tanum, Patikul at 4:20pm of the same day.
The 20-minute firefight resulted in the slight wounding of 2 soldiers while casualty on the enemy side is yet to be determined.
WestMinCom commander, Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana commended the rangers for their untiring dedication to their duties and made sure that the battle casualties will be given utmost care while undergoing medical treatment.
“I enjoin all the troops to press on until all the remaining bandits are neutralized and the peace that the people of Sulu are longing for is attained,” Lt. Gen. Sobejana said.
“But while military operations are vigorously undertaken, I encourage the remaining bandits to lay down their arms and end conflicts in a peaceful way,” added Lt. Gen. Sobejana.