SULU – At least three dozen soldiers were wounded in fierce clashes with Abu Sayyaf rebels in the southern Filipino province of Sulu, various reports from there said on Monday.
It said the weekend fighting broke out in the remote village of Upper Laus in Talipao town where troops clashed with about 150 rebels under Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan. There were no reports of Abu Sayyaf casualties, but many of the wounded soldiers were members of the 41st Infantry Battalion.
The military’s Western Mindanao Command did not release any information about the casualties, although security forces have been battling the ISIS-affiliate rebel group whose members are fighting for a caliphate in the restive Muslim autonomous region.
Just recently, security forces captured a notorious Abu Sayyaf rebel – Amilton Tammang – at the port of Zamboanga City after he escaped military operation in Sulu, one of 5 provinces under the autonomous region.
The 29-year old Tammang is wanted by the police and military for the brutal murder of a construction worker in Sulu’s Patikul town in 2016. Tamang was handed over by the military to the police and is currently being interrogated. It was not immediately known whether Tammang escaped Sulu with other rebels or whether he was planning an attack in Zamboanga.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding about two dozen Asian sailors kidnapped off Malaysia’s Sabah state and in Basilan and Tawi-Tawi provinces, all in the Muslim region. (Mindanao Examiner)
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