Amid the conduct of intensified military operation, troops of the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion encountered 150 Abu Sayyaf Group members under Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan in Sitio Sungkog, Barangay Kabbon Takas, Patikul, Sulu at 11:30 yesterday (February 2).
Heavy firefight ensued for an hour and 50 minutes after which the enemies withdrew to different direction.
The armed confrontation resulted to 3 killed and 15 wounded, including sub-leader Idang Susukan, based on human intelligence (HuMint) while the government side incurred 5 deaths and 18 wounded.
Battle casualties were immediately evacuated to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital for medical treatment and proper disposition.
Eight (8) of the 18 wounded were airlifted through air ambulance and are currently recuperating at the different private and public hospitals in Zamboanga City.
Remains of the killed battle casualties arrived in Zamboanga City earlier today onboard a navy vessel.
“Sa utos ng ating Commander-in-Chief na magsagawa ng all-out-war laban sa mga bandidong Abu Sayyaf, inaasahan ang sunud-sunod na intensibong operasyon na ilulunsad ng Joint Task Force Sulu,” said Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“Nawa’y isali niyo sa inyong mga panalangin ang aming kaligtasan at tagumpay ng aming misyon, lalung-lalo na ang ating mga tropa na tutugis sa mga bandido,” he added.
“Atin din pong ipagdasal ang kaluluwa ng mga nasawi , ang kakatagan ng loob ng kanilang mga naulila, at ang agarang paggaling ng mga nasugatan,” he concluded.
Pursuit operations are currently being conducted.