2 ASG bandits killed in Tawi-Tawi pursuit operation

2 ASG bandits killed in Tawi-Tawi pursuit operation

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Government forces killed two more Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits who brought the four Indonesian captives to Tawi-Tawi in a firefight Tuesday afternoon, military officials said Wednesday.

“While we were moving towards their location, they opened fire, and we retaliated. A short encounter ensued, resulting in the instantaneous death of the two ASG bandits known only through their aliases as Long and Darus,” Col. Nestor Narag Jr., 2nd Marine Brigade deputy commander, said.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said the clash broke out following the reported sightings of the two in Kalupag Island, Languyan, Tawi-Tawi.

Narag said the troops recovered the two slain ASG bandits and an M-16 rifle after scouring the encounter site.

The two were among the five ASG bandits who brought the four Indonesian captives to Tawi-Tawi as they tried to evade the intensive military operations in Sulu.

Two of their companions, Sahud Salisim alias Ben Wagas and Bensal Jakare, were captured when the troops rescued three of the four Indonesian captives on March 18 off Pasigan Island, South Ubian town.

Their leader, Majan Sahidjuan, died following a clash with Marine troops on the evening of March 20 in Kalupag Island, Languyan.

The troops rescued the last Indonesian captive around 6:30 a.m. Sunday, also in Kalupag Island.

“We intensified our focused military operations and intelligence monitoring to track down these two, hence their neutralization,” said Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas, commander of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi.

Meanwhile, Vinluan lauded the troops, local government officials, the police, and the residents “who directed our troops to the terrorists’ location. This exemplifies that peace is truly a shared responsibility.” (PNA)

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