Army captain, 2 militiamen killed in Basilan

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/01 September) – A junior Army officer and two militiamen were killed by suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits in two separate incidents Saturday in the hinterlands of Basilan province, a military official disclosed Monday.

Killed were Capt. Mark Zember Gamboa of the Army’s 4th Special Forces Battalion and militiamen Haji Aldam and a certain Mused.

Capt. Franco Suelto, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs Officer-in-Charge, said Gamboa was killed in a clash against the Abu Sayyaf around 8:20 p.m. Saturday in Sitio Basak Tiki, Barangay Calugusan, Lantawan town.

Suelto said Gamboa led the troops that clashed with around 10 bandits led by a certain Halang alias Commander Jeck while conducting security operations following the reported presence of gunmen in the area.

He said the bandits fled following a 10-minute firefight that killed Gamboa.

Brig. Gen. Gerardo Barrientos, 1st Infantry Division commander, said the death of Gamboa, who was a decorated Special Forces officer, was a great loss to the organization.

Suelto said Aldam and Mused were killed when they were ambushed by gunmen suspected to be Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Radzmil Jannatul alias Kubayb around 8 a.m. Saturday in Barangay Mahatalang, Sumisip town.

Suelto said they were checking the reported cutting of rubber trees when the bandits ambushed them.

Aldam and Mused were among the security personnel of a rubber plantation owned by the Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development Corporation in Sumisip.

Suelto said the bandits seized the slain militiamen’s firearms consisting of an M-203 grenade launcher and an M-14 rifle. (MindaNews)