MANILA - At least 10 soldiers were injured in an ambush by members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Ungkaya Pukan town, Basilan on Wednesday morning, a military commander in the province said.
Lt. Col. John Paolo Perez, commander of the 18th Infantry Battalion, said his men were securing a government road project in Barangay Sungkayot when they were attacked by the Abu Sayyaf bandits at around 9:45 a.m.
Perez said their attackers were under the group of Abu Sayyaf leader Furuji Indama, who is allegedly out to avenge the killing of several of his men during military operations in the past two months.
"They've suffered successive losses in June and July. We believe this (attack) is a retaliation and at the same time harassment of the government project," Perez said.
He said around 10 to 15 Abu Sayyaf men hurled an improvised bomb, leaving 9 soldiers and a militiaman wounded.
The explosion was followed by a firefight, he said.
He said the bandits later withdrew with undetermined number of casualties.