By Francis Wakefield
An Army captain was killed while four others were hurt following a heavy gun battle between Army troops and the Abu Sayyaf in Sumisip, Basilan on Thursday, January 12.
The army officer—whose identity was withheld pending notification of relatives—died on the spot, said Major Filemon Tan Jr., AFP Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesman, quoting reports he received.
The four other wounded military personnel were later evacuated and brought to a hospital.
Tan said operating troops of the 19th Special Forces Company, 4th Special Forces Battalion under Captain Dexter P. Dantog were conducting a combat operation when they encountered a still undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf fighters under Furuji Indama, alias “Abu Dujana,” at Barangay Cabcaban in Sumisip.
Tan said the firefight is ongoing as of press time. “As of now, air strikes are ongoing. The encounter is also raging.”
Tan said Col. Cirilo Donato, commander of Joint Task Force Basilan under the 104th Brigade, immediately coordinated with Westmincom and alerted UH-1H helicopters for casualty evacuation.
The Charlie Team under Captain Paquera was also alerted for possible indirect fire support targeting enemy locations.
The operating troops of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, 68th Infantry Battalion and 64th IB were advised to move closer to the encounter site for reinforcement and blockade of possible enemy withdrawal routes.