MANILA, Philippines – A government soldier died, while 3 others were injured after the military encountered members of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf in Basilan on Thursday, an official said.
Colonel Ricardo Visaya, 104th Infantry Brigade commander, said he sent his troops to Barangay Baiwas, Sumisip town to check on a report of the presence of at least 40 ASG members.
Visaya said the terrorists were allegedly conducting a training on bomb-making under leaders Furuji Indama and Khair Mundus.
At around 11:00 a.m., soldiers from the 12th Scout Ranger Command encountered the terrorists, resulting in a firefight that lasted for about 2 hours.
The terrorists fled the scene, leaving at least 30 improvised explosive devices planted in forest village.
A second firefight occurred at around 5 p.m. as the 10th Scout Ranger Company was pursuing the terrorists. The exchange of fire lasted for about 45 minutes.
A soldier was declared dead on arrival at a hospital in Zamboanga City. His identity was withheld as his family has yet to be informed about the incident.
Three other soldiers were injured. They were identified as Private First Class (PFC) Daniel Resultan, PFC Cresencio Sagaysay and Private Symons Mark Subito.
Government troops continue to pursue the terrorists responsible for the latest incident of fighting in the conflict-torn province.
The Abu Sayaff leaders, Indama and Mundus, are wanted for crimes such as kidnapping and murder.