Basilan clash kills soldier, injures 3 others

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/15 August) – A soldier was killed while three others were wounded in a clash Wednesday with suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits in the province of Basilan, a military official said.

Col. Charlie Galvez, commander of the Army’s 104th Infantry Brigade, said the soldiers were conducting clearing operations when they clashed with some 35 Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Juhaibel Alamsirul alias Abu Kik at around 8:45 a.m. in the boundary of Barangays Baiwas and Pamatsaken, Sumisip municipality.

The clearing operation was to pave the way for a resupply mission to a Scout Ranger jungle base in Barangay Baiwas, Galvez added.

He said the firefight lasted for about 30 minutes that resulted to the death of one soldier and the wounding of three others, all belonging to the 20th Scout Ranger Company of the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion.

The Abu Sayyaf bandits, who fled to the hinterlands, were also believed to have suffered casualties, he said.

About two hours later, combined police and military forces arrested a suspected Abu Sayyaf bandit, who was allegedly involved in the abduction of 35 people on August 2, 2001 in Barangay Balolobo, Lamitan City, Basilan.

The police said Jaddatal Aling Bakulan alias Abu Jal, who has a standing warrant of arrest for massacre and kidnapping and serious illegal detention, was arrested at around 10:35 a.m. in Barangay Limook in Lamitan.

Bakulan was arrested while driving a motorcycle in a checkpoint manned by combined policemen and soldiers, the police said.

On August 2, 2011, Abu Sayyaf bandits abducted around 35 people, including children, when they raided Barangay Balobo, Lamitan.

Eleven of the 35 hostages were beheaded while the rest were freed or had managed to escape during clashes with the pursuing soldiers. (MindaNews)