MANILA - A military operation to capture Abu Sayyaf commander Radullan Sahiron was discontinued yesterday after he and his men were tipped off that they would be ambushed in Indanan, Sulu.
Col. Alan Arrojado, Armed Forces Joint Task Group Sulu commander, said the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion planned the ambush after the military received reports that Sahiron and his men were moving towards Indanan.
A soldier was wounded after Army troops engaged the advance party of Sahiron in a two-minute shootout at around 12:30 a.m. yesterday, he added.
Arrojado said the soldiers need to rest after hunting down Sahiron and his men continuously for 14 days.
“This is not a suspension (of operation),” he said. “The troops have to rest and refurbish their bullets and supplies.”
Arrojado said the troops would not allow Sahiron and his men to escape.
“They are ready anytime,” he said in Filipino.
“If there is available information (about the location of Abu Sayyaf members), they can operate.”
Nine Abu Sayyaf fighters were killed and 14 others wounded in an encounter with government troops in Patikul, Sulu last Thursday, the military said.
However, officials could not say how many bodies of the slain terrorists were recovered.
Two soldiers died and 15 others were wounded in the clash.
Sahiron, one of the terrorists in the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s most wanted list, was reportedly spotted during the encounter.
Sahiron was implicated in several kidnappings, including that of an American in 1993.
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