Gov’t troops capture 2 Abu Sayyaf camps in Basilan clashes

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 21 January) – Government forces captured two Abu Sayyaf camps in Basilan following separate clashes Tuesday that led to the death of two of the group’s members and wounding of six others.

Read Admiral Reynaldo Yoma, Task Force ZamBaSulTa commander, said the first clash broke out around 11 a.m. in Barangay Pamatsaken, Sumisip town. He said the firefight against at least 25 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group led by Juhaibel Alamsirul alias Abu Kik lasted for about 15 minutes that resulted to the death of one of Kik’s followers.

Yoma said Abu Kik, an ASG sub-leader, and his followers fled towards the north.

At 12:55 p.m., Yoma said the troops conducted counter-sniper operations when they came under fire of an enemy sniper while on clearing maneuver in the boundary of Barangays Baiwas and Pamatsaken.

He said that another firefight broke out at 1:38 p.m. in Baiwas.

Yoma said the number of the ASG members grew to around 50 gunmen as the group of Radzmil Janatul, another ASG sub-leader, joined the group of Abu Kik.

He said another ASG member was killed while six others were wounded during the firefight that lasted about two hours.

Col. Rolando Joselito Bautista, 104th Infantry Brigade commander based in Basilan, said the Abu Sayyaf members fled towards the west after they were pounded with artillery followed by helicopter gunships.

Bautista said no one among the troops were either killed or wounded in the separate clashes.

Yoma said the two captured ASG camps can accommodate 100 people.

He said an improvised bomb was recovered in one of the camps.

Bautista said the Abu Sayyaf bandits who figured in Tuesday’s firefights were involved in the ambush-slay of six soldiers, including a junior officer, on November 2, 2014 in Barangay Libug, Sumisip.

The troops from the Army’s 64th Infantry Battalion were providing security to a government project when they were ambushed.