FOUR members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed and scores were wounded in the latest firefight between them and government forces in Patikul, Sulu, on Saturday, belated reports reaching Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City (Metro Manila) said on Sunday.
Three of the dead were identified as Abu Alih, Abu Saip and Abu Ben.
They were reportedly members of the ASG’s Ajang-Ajang group under one Roger Samlahun, who was wounded during the encounter in Patikul.
Citing reports from the field, Brig.Gen. Alan Arrojado, commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Joint Task Group Sulu, said Gajer Timbang and Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, an ASG sub-leader, were also wounded.
The military believed that the bandits suffered heavy casualties during the two-day clash that started on Friday when at least 300 ASG members engaged security forces in Parikul.
Ten soldiers were wounded during the gunbattle.
Arrojado said that on Saturday, five wives of the bandits, among them the wife of Arab Sawadjaa, and daughter-in-law of the ASG sub-leader were monitored buying several medicines from different drug stores in Jolo.
He said Nanah Sawadjaan revealed that they were treating at least 15 wounded bandits.