SULU CLASH. Seven followers of the Abu Sayyaf Group were killed while two are captured in a clash Sunday (Feb. 5, 2023) in the boundary of Maimbung and Parang towns in Sulu. Government troops recovered seven high-powered firearms after the 30-minute clash. (Photo courtesy of Area Police Command-Western Mindanao)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Seven Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) extremists were killed while two others were captured following a firefight in the hinterlands of Sulu province, a top police official said Monday.

Col. Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao, said the clash broke out around 1:21 a.m. Sunday on the border of Barangays Labah and Kapuk in the towns of Maimbung and Parang, respectively.

Verceles identified the slain ASG members as Juko Dahim, Aldimar Kanih, Gamil Halik, Norhan Pasi, Malik Iron, Jimming Akjal and his son, only known as alias Iron.

He said they were taken to the hospital but were declared dead on arrival by the attending physician.

Those captured were identified as Julmin Amdan and Rogir Mukatrir.

Wounded in the crossfire were Crismalyn Hail Tajid, 22, and a child who were both taken to a hospital in Jolo, the capital town of Sulu.

Verceles said the firefight broke out when the policemen led by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) were fired upon by the group of Juko and Alganer while they were about to serve a warrant of arrest for murder against the former.

A 30-minute firefight ensued as the policemen fired back, resulting in the death of Juko and six of his companions. Alganer managed to escape.

Verceles said Juko was involved in the ambush-slay of Col. Julasirim Kasim, the police director of Sulu, in 2009 in Barangay Bato Ugis, Maimbung, Sulu.

He said the slain ASG members were followers of Majan Sahidjuan operating in the towns of Indanan, Parang and Maimbung.

Sahidjuan was killed in a clash with government troops in March 2021 in Kalupag Island, Languyan, Tawi-Tawi.

Verceles said the policemen recovered nine high-powered firearms, assorted ammunition and war materiel from the clash site. (PNA)