ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/02 November) – Three soldiers were wounded in a clash with the Abu Sayyaf on Monday as the military offensive continued in the province of Sulu.
Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, Joint Task Group Sulu commander, said the clash ensued around 1:45 p.m. Monday in Barangay Liang, Patikul town.
Arrojado said the clash broke out when the troops chanced on a group of around 20 Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Ninok Saparri.
He said three soldiers were slightly wounded by shrapnel of an M-203 grenade fired by the Abu Sayyaf.
He said the bandits fled towards Barangay Tugas, Patikul upon sensing the arrival of government reinforcements.
The military launched an offensive targeting the senior leaders of the Abu Sayyaf bandits as well as their foreign cohorts allegedly consisting of Indonesian and Malaysian nationals.
Arrojado earlier said the offensive was aimed to rescue the kidnap victims who were still in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.
Since the early 1990s, the military has launched several operations against the kidnap-for-ransom group, which has victimized Filipinos as well as foreigners. (MindaNews)