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Now Reading: MAJOR CLASH | Islamist militants kill four soldiers, wound 17 others in Sulu fighting
MAJOR CLASH | Islamist militants kill four soldiers, wound 17 others in Sulu fighting
June 6, 2020 , 02:10 PM

By Manny Mogato

June 06, 2020 – Pro-Islamic State militants had killed four soldiers and wounded 17 other in a fierce firefight in the jungles of the bean-shaped volatile island in the southern Philippines, an army spokesman said on Saturday.

Major Arvin Encinas, said troops of the army’s Sixth Special Forces Battalion had encountered about 40 Abu Sayyaf militants in Sitio Lagaron, Brgy. Kan-Ague, Patikul on Friday.

He said two militants were killed in a 40-minute gun battle on Friday morning when the troops were on combat patrol.

“The enemy had the advantage, thus we had a large number of casualties,” Encinas said.

Encinas said the Abu Sayaf Group was under sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, who the military earlier blamed as behind several suicide bombings in the province over the past couple of years.

As of Saturday, Encinas said the government forces were still pursuing the Abu Sayyaf Group broke into smaller groups and fled deeper into the jungle.

Last month, the AFP said four members of the ISIS-affiliated Abu Sayyaf Group were killed in a previous encounter in Patikul.

The encounter came a few days after Congress passed an anti-terrorism law, awaiting the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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