2 Abu Sayyaf men captured in clash

Government troops have captured two alleged Abu Sayyaf bandits as fresh fighting erupted in the hinterlands of Sulu, military officials said Friday.

Captured were Nadsfar Abdulla and Delson Kansiong, both followers of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) sub-leader Idang Susukan.

Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said they were captured following an hour-long firefight that broke out at around 1:50 a.m. Friday in Barangay Lagasan Higad, Parang town.

Sobejana said the troops from the Army’s 2nd Special Forces Battalion led by Lt. Col. Jessie Montoya were on combat patrol when they chanced upon a group of Abu Sayyaf bandits, thus, the firefight.

Sobejana said the troops recovered from the possessions of the two captured bandits an R4 rifle and an M-14 rifle.

He said they were placed under debriefing at the headquarters of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion while coordination is being made with the police for proper legal procedures.

He said there was no reported casualty on the government forces while it is undetermined on the side of the enemies.

“The operating troops continue to scour the area to pin down the beleaguered bandits and prevent them from extricating the area,” Sobejana said.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said the capture of Abdulla and Kansiong has brought to 85 Abu Sayyaf bandits arrested by Westmincom troops since January, this year.

Galvez said that of the figure, 12 were captured in Basilan, 50 in Sulu, seven in Tawi-Tawi, and 16 in Zamboanga City.

“We remain decisive in our campaign to crush the Abu Sayyaf Group and end its nefarious activities to bring internal security in Western Mindanao,” Galvez said as he congratulated the soldiers of the Joint Task Force Sulu for the success.

“I know this accomplishment will motivate them to work harder to defeat the terror group,” he added. (Teofilo Garcia, Jr/PNA)