Government forces yesterday neutralized an Abu Sayyaf militant in an intense gunfight with the Ajang-Ajang group in Patikul, Sulu.
Ommal Usop was slain in the combined operations launched by military and police forces at the residence of Kamah, a member of the Ajang-Ajang group, in Barangay Latih at 5:40pm yesterday (January 29).
Usop resisted arrest, prompting the military and police to return fire in a raid at Kalimayahan Village in Barangay Latih.
Government troops also recovered a Caliber .45 pistol, five rounds of ammunition, and a sniper scope.
As of this posting, troops continue to pursue Kamah, who eluded arrest.
Kamah is the logistics officer of the Abu Sayyaf and the suspect behind the bomb attacks on the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo town on January 27.
Soldiers of the Joint Task Force Sulu turned over the cadaver of Usop to the barangay officials for proper disposition.
Operating troops consisted of the Philippine Marine Ready Fleet Sulu, the 35th Infantry Battalion, the 1101st Infantry Brigade, and the Special Action Forces, Philippine National Police.
The raid was launched two days after the President left a marching order for government troops to crush the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.
Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, the commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said: “Military forces are on pursuit to capture Kamah and the rest of the militants, who are now hiding from the government troops. Expect that, with the pronouncement of the Commander-in-Chief, we will intensify our focused military operations to pound down the remaining terrorists and penetrate strongholds of the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.”