ZAMBOANGA CITY – Government troops captured an Abu Sayyaf hideout after killing the brother of a notorious terrorist commander in a clash that left 2 soldiers wounded in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, the military said late Wednesday.
The Western Mindanao Command said Nanz Sawadjaan was slain in the hinterland village of Langhub in Patikul town. It said the militant was the brother of Hajan Sawadjaan, whose group was blamed by police and military for the recent suicide attack on an army detachment in the town.
The fighting erupted after soldiers from the 41st Infantry Battalion assaulted a hideout of the Abu Sayyaf and clashed with about 40 gunmen under three commanders Almujer Yadah, Ben Tattoh and Apo Mike.
“Heavy firefight ensued which lasted for 20 minutes, after which, enemies scampered to different directions allowing the troops to overrun the enemy encampment that can accommodate at least 40 individuals.”
“A dead body and one AK-47 (assault rifle) were also recovered in the encounter site. Soldiers identified the neutralized terrorist as Nanz Sawadjaan, the younger brother of ASG sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan,” the military said.
The wounded soldiers were brought to the Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in the capital town of Jolo. Their identities were not made public by the military, but it said that “troops are still conducting pursuit operation to neutralize the fleeing terrorists.”
The military also quoted Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the Western Mindanao Command, as saying: “Our troops remain persistent in tracking down and neutralizing the remaining terrorists in Sulu. The successful operations of our troops are also attributed to the local community who feeds information, directing our troops to the terrorists’ location.” (Zamboanga Post)
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