2 Indonesian fishermen rescued, 3 ASG bandits killed in Sulu clash

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ZAMBOANGA CITY — Marine forces have rescued an Indonesian fisherman while another drowned while trying to escape during a firefight that resulted in the death of three Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in an island in Sulu, officials said.

Rescued by the troops from the Philippine Marine Ready Force-Sulu (PMRF-S) was Heri Ardiansyah, 19. His companion, identified only as Hariadin, 45, had drowned.

Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said that Ardiansyah and Hariadin tried to swim across the channel towards Banglao Island as the Marine forces and ASG bandits under Najir Arik engaged in a firefight around 5:45 p.m. Friday in Simisa Island, Banguingui, Sulu.

Pabayo said the troops recovered high-powered firearms after the 10-minute firefight.

Ardiansyah and Hariadin were seized along with Jari Abdullah, 34, from their boat while they were fishing on December 6, 2018 at Pegasus Reef Kinabatangan, Malaysia.

The PMRF-S troopers retrieved Abdullah around 4:25 p.m. Thursday following a firefight in Barangay Bahkaan, Simisa Island, Banguingui, Sulu.

Pabayo earlier said Abdullah managed to escape, although wounded as “he was shot by his captors before he was secured by the troops.”

Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said, the Marine troops have constrained the Abu Sayyaf’s movement following sustained military offensives in Simisa Island. (PNA)