ZAMBOANGA CITY – Three Abu Sayyaf militants and a soldier were killed and 15 more wounded in fresh battle Saturday in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, officials said.
While insisting that troops killed 3 militants, officials admitted only one body was recovered by soldiers in Patikul town. The wounded soldiers, mostly from the 21st Infantry Battalion, were brought to the main military base in Jolo town for medical treatment.
Officials said the militants were led by Almujer Yaddah, whose group freed 2 kidnapped Filipino fishermen Reyjim Rocabo, 41 and Roel Leones, 37, on Friday. The duo was recovered by soldiers and provided the military with information about Yaddah’s hideout in Patikul town.
The fishermen said Yaddah’s group is still holding several hostages. Both Rocabo and Leones were crewmembers of FB Ramona 2 kidnapped in December 20 last year in the Celebes Sea. Their ship captain, Noel Besconde, was beheaded on April 13 by the Abu Sayyaf after his employer and family failed to pay ransom. Another crewman, Roy Ramos, was freed in June in Talipao town.
The Abu Sayyaf, which is still holding 16 foreigners and four other Filipinos, recently beheaded 2 Vietnamese sailors after their government and families failed to pay ransom. (Mindanao Examiner)
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