COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 18 April) — Eleven soldiers from the 21st Infantry Battalion were killed while 14 others were wounded as government troops clashed with the Abu Sayyaf in Sitio Bud Lubong, Barangay Danag in Patikul, Sulu at around 3 p.m. on Friday.
“With the determination to ensure the safety and security of the community against the Abu Sayyaf Group, 11 soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice in an hour-long ferocious gunfight with the terrorist group,” Major Arvin Encinas, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao command said.
Encinas said the Abu Sayyaf also suffered casualties.
The soldiers were running after ASG leader Radullan Sahiron and Hatib Hajan Sawajaan when they were overpowered by the enemy presence inside the jungle, said Encinas.
Several firearms and communication equipment were reported stolen by the ASG.
Killed were 1Lt. Rogelio E. Deligero, Jr., S/Sgt Jason P. Gazzingan, Corporals John T Manodom, Mark Dixter U. Montenegro, Rasul B. Ao-As, Ernesto L. Bautista Jr., Benson A. Bongguic, Jomel N. Pagulayan, Premark P. Vallecer, Jiydon T. Usman and Jomar A. Ninalga.
Wounded were S/Sgt Alexander B. Bolesa, Sgt. Oliver Y. Salvador and Corporals Erick A. Curioso, Jesus P. Genora, Apollo D. Papa, Johnday B. Sabaway, Naricso W. Salidad, Jr., Pfc Robert M. Arias, Odit P. Flores, Jaypee L.Maddawing, Solomon T. Ngayak, RJ G. Estiban, Jesrael U. Sapao and a still to be identified person. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)