6 alleged Abu Sayyaf bandits killed in Sulu encounter – AFP

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – Six alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed in two separate clashes with the military in Sulu over the weekend, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said.

On Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2:40 p.m., government troops first encountered ASG members in Sitio Itum in Barangay Kabbuntakas in Patikul, Sulu.

One ASG fighter identified as “Jailade” was killed while four others were wounded in the firefight which lasted for 45 minutes.

Five soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Battalion, who were slightly wounded in the gunfight were brought to the Camp Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo for medical treatment.

The second encounter between the ASG and military occurred on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 3:30 p.m. in Sitio Huton Mahablo, Barangay Silangkan in Indanan, Sulu.

The 30-minute battle resulted in the death of five bandits, including Sibih Pisih, an alleged sub-group leader of the ASG under its top leader Radullan Sahiron.

“Sibih Pisih is one of the original subgroup leaders of the ASG before the group was split into Sahiron and Sawadjaan Group,” the AFP Westmincom said in a statement.

Sibih Pisih was said to be behind the kidnapping incidents in the boundaries of Tawi-tawi and Sabah, and has a pending warrant of arrest for the killing of 22 civilians in Talipao, Sulu in 2014.

Soldiers recovered from the bandits an M653 Rifle, a Barret Sniper Rifle, and a Cal.45 Pistol.

Two Special Forces members were slightly wounded during the armed encounter and are now being treated at the military hospital in Jolo, Sulu.

The AFP said it is now working on identifying three of the slain ASG bandits.

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