By Nonoy E. Lacson
Patikul, Sulu — Three members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed, while several others were wounded in a 25-minute encounter with soldiers of the 11th Scout Ranger Company at Capual Island in the town of Omar in this province.
Col. Jesus Manangquil, the newly installed commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, said the soldiers encountered about 30 ASG about 3:45 p.m. Monday and engaged them in a firefight for about 25 minutes that resulted in the death of the three ASG members, and wounding of countless others.
According to Manangquil, the soldiers, as well as local residents, saw the bandit group carrying away the dead bodies of two more comrades. Government troops did not incur any casualty.
The soldiers also recovered three pump boats (two Junkung type double engine and one single engine wooden boat) one Garand rifle, ammunitions, a solar panel and motor vehicle battery, Improvised Explosive Device components.
The three pump boats were turned over to the Naval Task Group Sulu for proper disposition.
“The successful military operation was a result of the cooperation of the people of Sulu in our campaign against the ASG and their evil deeds,” Manangquil said.
“Our soldiers are motivated by a strong public and stakeholders’ support and are determined to finish off the ASG and to recover all the hostages at the hands of the ASG,” he added.
Manangquil vowed that they “will not stop until the scourge of the ASG will be finally put to a complete stop.”
“We will prevail as we have a reinvigorated cooperation of the people of Sulu who are suffering due to the existence of these barbaric bandits,” Manangquil underscored.