2 ASG bandits killed in Basilan clash

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

June 7, 2023, 8:11 pm

<p>Google map of Sitio Talisay, Barangay Upper Benembengan, Sumisip town, Basilan province.</p>

Google map of Sitio Talisay, Barangay Upper Benembengan, Sumisip town, Basilan province.

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits were killed in a fresh encounter with government forces in Basilan province, military officials said Wednesday.

Col. Frederick Sales, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Basilan acting commander, said the clash transpired around 6 a.m. Tuesday in Sitio Talisay, Barangay Upper Benembengan, Sumisip town.

The slain extremists were identified only as a certain "Dodong," a follower of Mudzrimar Sawadjaan, a known bomber and Sulu-based ASG sub-leader, while the other, a certain "Boy," is a follower of Basilan-based ASG leader Pasil Bayali.

Sales said the troops recovered the remains of the two bandits in Barangay Pamatsaken, although the clash occurred in the adjacent village of Upper Benembengan. Their  remains were turned over to the village chief of Upper Benembengan and Sumisip police for proper burial.

The clash broke out when the troops chanced upon the ASG bandits while they were tracking down the group of Sawadjaan and Bayali.

“Your armed forces will not stop its military operations until the terror groups are completely crushed,” said Lt. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), in a statement.

On Saturday, government troops rescued an Indonesian teenager when they overran an ASG encampment following a clash against the combined groups of Sawadjaan and Bayali in Sitio Lobloban, Barangay Guiong, Sumisip.

Sawadjaan brought the teenager with him when he recently fled from Sulu province to evade military operations, military officials said. (PNA)