AMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/28 July) – Seven Marines were killed while 21 others were wounded in an encounter against suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits early Thursday in the hinterlands of Sulu, a military official disclosed.
Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Western Mindanao Command spokesperson, said the firefight erupted around 4:30 a.m. Thursday in Patikul town.
Cabangbang said troops from the Marine Battalion Landing Team-11 were on security operations when they clashed with the group of Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron.
He said the firefight last for about four hours resulting in the death of the seven Marines and wounding of 21 others.
Helicopter gunships flew to the battle site to support the troops and extricate the casualties, he added.
Cabangbang said the Marines encountered around 70 bandits and that the clash site served as the main base of Sahiron and another bandit leader, Isnilon Hapilon. (MindaNews)