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Abu Sayyaf member killed, 8 soldiers injured in Sulu clashes

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ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — An Abu Sayyaf militant was killed and several others, including eight soldiers, were wounded in a military offensive in Sulu on Sunday.
Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, said the troops clashed with around 100 Abu Sayyaf members at Barangay Panglayahan in Patikul town past noon.
Tan said the troops from the 21st Infantry Battalion were conducting a focused military offensive when the clash happened as they were heading towards Sitio Baladad, a former military detachment.
“The firefight was fierce [and] resulted in eight soldiers on our side wounded but the Abu Sayyaf suffered an undetermined number of casualties,” Tan said.
He said pursuit operations are underway as the militants split up to evade the military.
Tan said Joint Task Force Sulu Commander Brig. Gen. Arnel dela Vega has directed nearby military units to conduct blocking operations. A blocking operation is meant to deny an enemy force access to an area.
Ground troops were supported by artillery and by attack helicopters from the Philippine Air Force 3rd Air Division.
Earlier Sunday, Army Rangers also clashed with eight Abu Sayyaf militants led by Abu Sayyaf spokesman Muamar Askali, alias Abu Rami, in a village of Indanan town.
The 11th Scout Ranger Company engaged Askali’s group in a firefight at Barangay Bunot at about 6:45 a.m. One Abu Sayyaf member was killed in the clash.
The Rangers recovered the remains of the slain Abu Sayyaf militant and his rifle, Tan said.
source: philstar.com

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