Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command said that at around 3:45 pm on April 8 operating troops of 41st Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Division operating under Joint Task Force Sulu encountered approximately 40 Abu Sayyaf terrorists under Almujer Yada at Bgy. Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu.
“Firefight lasted for 40 minutes, supported by indirect fires and close air support, resulting to the neutralization of @Barak Ingog, one of the facilitators of the bombing of the cathedral in Jolo last 27 January this year,” the military command said.
Operating troops recovered one M16 rifle and personal belongings of the terrorists.
“Another ASG member, identified as Nasser Sawajaan, nephew of ASG leader Hatib Hajaan Sawadjaan, was also killed during the said encounter,” it added.
“Three of our troops were also slightly hurt due to shrapnel wounds but they are now fine”, said Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo Jr, commander of JTF Sulu.
“We also received information from residents in the area, who are also monitoring and reporting the whereabout of the bandits in order to rid their presence in the community, that they overheard that another high value ASG sub leader is missing and probably dead, which is subject to the clearing and pursuit operations of our troops right now,” Brigadier General Pabayo added.
WESTMINCOM commander Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega said he was impressed with the sustained efforts and initiatives of JTF Sulu troopers which are worth recognizing.
“Their focus and dedication showcase the commitment, not only to end the menace brought by the ASG in Sulu that hampers peace, but also of performing soldiers’ mandate to protect the safety of the people in the locality,” Lieutenant Geneneral Dela Vega said.