War matériel seized after troops, ASG clash in Basilan

War matériel seized after troops, ASG clash in Basilan

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Government troops recovered war materials after two clashes against different Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Basilan province, the military said Thursday.

The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said the first clash broke out around 3 a.m. Wednesday when combined troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF-Basilan) and Naval Forces Western Mindanao launched a military operation against ASG bandits led by Abu Khatan and a lawless group headed by a certain Junga in Kaulungan Island, Al-Barka, Basilan.

The firefight lasted for 25 minutes, after which the ASG bandits fled.

Another firefight broke out several minutes later after the troops established a blockade in the withdrawal route of the bandits.

It said the bandits and their lawless cohorts likely suffered casualties but were dragged by their fleeing companions.

During the clearing operation, the troops recovered two M-16 Armalite rifles, one Garand rifle, a rifle grenade, handheld radio, parts of firearms, and personal belongings.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Roy Galido, Westmincom chief, called on the remaining ASG bandits in Basilan to return to the fold of the law.

”If they refuse to join us, we will go after them and prevent them from creating havoc in the peaceful communities for it is our primary duty to protect our fellow Filipinas from any form of violence and inhumane acts,” Galido warned. (PNA)

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