By FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD
Ten Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members, including the brother of Hatib Sawadjaan, second in command of the notorious terrorist group, were killed while two others were injured following a clash in Patikul, Sulu on Sunday.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu commander identified four of the 10 dead ASG members as Taha Sawadjaan, younger brother of Hatib Sawadjaan, Amah Talah, one alias Red and a Long Abraham.
Sobejana identified the wounded ASG members as Ben Quirino alias Ben Tattoo and Adzren Sawadjaan.
Other ASG leaders said to have beeen present during the encounter include Jajan Sawadjaan, Idang Susukan and Injam Yadah.
Unfortunately, the firefight also resulted in the death of two government soldiers and the wounding of 12 others.
Sobejana said the bodies of the dead soldiers were already transported to Zamboanga while the wounded are being treated in hospitals.
The encounter happened at Sitio Kan Alas, Brgy. Tanum, Patikul, Sulu, at about 6:15 a.m. with troops aiming to rescue the bandits’ kidnap victims, two of them policewomen.
Sobejana said his men are now in hot pursuit of the escaped bandits.
“Our actions are however very limited and calculated since we do not want to harm the kidnap victims,” he added.