The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command said that troops of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 3 had a clash with undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf Group terrorist members under sub leader Najir Arik in Simisa Island, Banguigui, Sulu at 7:58 am on March 24.
The military command said that based on human intelligence the exchange of fires that lasted for 5 minutes resulted to 3 enemies killed while no casualty was reported on the government side.
“Pursuit operation was immediately conducted to go after the fleeing bandits,” WESTMINCOM said.
“While conducting pursuit operation at 8:02 am [March 25], troops of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 1 chanced upon the fleeing bandits few meters away from the first encounter site.”
“Intermittent firefight lasted for about twenty minutes,” it added. “No casualty was reported on the government side while on the enemy side it is yet to be determined as clearing operation is still being conducted.”
“The Joint Task Force Sulu continues to intensify the conduct of offensives against the Abu Sayyaf,” said Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“We are certain that all measures are now being undertaken, in accordance with the rules of engagement,” he added.