Boy, 3, wounded in Sulu firefight

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/22 October) – A three-year-old boy was hit by a stray bullet in a firefight initiated by suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits on Wednesday in Patikul, Sulu.

Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, Joint Task Group Sulu commander, said the firefight erupted around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in Barangay Sandah, Patikul.

Arrojado identified the boy as Gasfer Suhudan, whose forehead was grazed by a bullet.

The official said the firefight ensued after Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team members led by Sandah Barangay Chair Jairulla Jawari fought back when the group of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Ninok Sapari attacked them.

Arrojado said Sapari’s group, who positioned at Patikul Hill, fled westward after a 15-minute gunfight when soldiers arrived.

He said the wounded boy was taken to the headquarters of the 35th Infantry Battalion’s Charlie Company in Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul, for medication.

He said the attack on Wednesday on BPAT members in Sandah by Sapari’s group was the second this year.

The first happened last Sept. 21 resulting to the death of an imam.

Arrojado said the residents in the area got the ire of Sapari for favoring the concreting of the circumferential road linking their place to Tugas, Patikul.

He said the Abu Sayyafs are against the project since it would make troop movement easy. (MindaNews)