Troops seize ASG encampment, rescue Indonesian teen

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

June 6, 2023, 7:53 pm

<p>Google map of Sitio Lobloban, Barangay Guiong, Sumisip, Basilan province.</p>

Google map of Sitio Lobloban, Barangay Guiong, Sumisip, Basilan province.

LAMITAN CITY, Basilan – Troops have rescued an Indonesian teenager as they seized an encampment of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) following a firefight in this province, military officials said Tuesday.

Col. Frederick Sales, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Basilan acting commander, said the 15-year-old male teen was rescued when they clashed and overran an ASG encampment in Sitio Lobloban, Barangay Guiong, Sumisip town on Saturday.

The clash occurred while the troops were pursuing ASG bomber and Sulu-based sub-leader Mudzrimar Sawadjaan, and Basilan-based sub-leader Pasil Bayali in the village.

Sales said Sawadjaan brought the boy with him when he recently fled from Sulu province to evade relentless combat operations launched by the Army’s 1103rd Infantry Brigade.

“Operating troops immediately brought the rescued Indonesian national to the hospital for medical check-up,” he added.

The teenager is allegedly the son of a suicide bomber couple – the late Rullie Rian Zeke alias Abbang Rullie, 35, and his wife, Ulfah Handayani Saleh, 32 – who were tagged as the perpetrators of the January 2019 bombing of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu province.

At least 23 people were killed and more than a hundred others were wounded during the cathedral bombing incident.

Lt. Gen. Roy Galido, Western Mindanao Command chief, has commended the JTF-Basilan troops for successfully rescuing the Indonesian teenager.

“He is still young, and we are hopeful that with proper guidance and counseling, he will be able to walk back on the right path and build a better future,” he said. (PNA)