Soldier, 2 militiamen killed in Basilan ambush

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

April 11, 2019, 9:13 pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The military has launched pursuit operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits behind Wednesday's ambush that killed three government troops in the hinterlands of Basilan province.

Col. Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, said the Joint Task Force Basilan, immediately launched the pursuit operations upon receiving the report on the ambush.

Besana on Thursday said the ambush occurred in Sitio Talisay, Barangay Upper Benembengan, Sumisip, Basilan province at about 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The identities of the three slain troops were not immediately released, but Besana said they were all assigned to the Talisay military detachment.

Besana said the three were aboard two motorcycles on the way to buy supplies for the Talisay detachment when the ASG bandits ambushed them. They succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds.

Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, Westmincom chief, said the ambush was a diversionary move of the ASG bandits as they continue to evade the advancing troops.

“The ambush is a clear manifestation that the Abu Sayyaf Group is incapable of engaging combat troops who are conducting intensified operations in the area. Rather, they are resorting to diversionary tactics to disrupt the peaceful situation in the province,” dela Vega said.

“We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the bereaved family of our valiant troops. Rest assured that they will be provided with all sorts of assistance,” he added. (PNA)