Seven soldiers were injured in continuing encounter with the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu province, military said.
Troopers from the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion clashed with about 30 bandits under Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan in Sitio Kan Mindang, Barangay Pangdanon, Patikul, Sulu Wednesday, October 30.
The firefight ensued that lasted for about 50 minutes, after which enemy withdrew bringing along their casualties with them.
“We believe that a number of bandits were wounded and probably could have died due to loss of blood for our troops have seen lots of bloodstains in the enemy position and in their withdrawal route,” Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu.
Five soldiers were wounded and immediately brought to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Busbus, Jolo.
Recovered from the encounter site were five improvised explosive devices, medical supplies, food supplies, 30 pieces empty gallons, personal belongings, detonating cord, 10-15 meters lead wire, 15 kilos rice, poncho, laminated sacks, one hammock, empty shells of 5.56mm and 7.62 mm link, and 2 backpacks.
Also discovered during the encounter was an enemy encampment, which could accommodate around 50 persons, in Barangay Panglayahan in the same municipality.
While pursuing the fleeing enemies, operating troops chanced upon about 10 Abu Sayyaf members under Mundi Sawadjaan and Yusop in Sitio Kanlimbungan, Barangay Tanum, Patikul on the same day.
The 20-minute firefight resulted in the slight wounding of two soldiers while casualty on the enemy side is yet to be determined, Vinluan said.