MANILA - A soldier hurt in a military clash with the Abu Sayyaf group last week has succumbed to his wounds, raising the death toll in the encounter to 12, the spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said Tuesday.
"One more succumbed yesterday after he was operated on," Brig. Gen Edgard Arevalo said.
The latest fatality was among 14 soldiers wounded in the clash in Barangay Danag in Patikul town on Friday afternoon.
On ANC, Arevalo said the incident would not deter the military from pursuing the terrorists.
"Right now, pursuit operations are still ongoing after that incident where 11 of our soldiers laid down their lives for the safety and security of our fellow Filipino in Sulu," said Arevalo.
The official added that the military will not give the terrorists the opportunity to plan and think about slipping out of Sulu.
"We were able to successfully confine them in the area. As a matter of fact, as we speak, operations are continuing and we are not going to give them the opportunity to divert some of their terrorist activities in the metropolis," he said.
Malacañang on Saturday condemned the incident and sent condolences to the families of soldiers killed in the encounter.
In a statement on Sunday, the Western Mindanao Command said state forces have killed the grandson of an Abu Sayyaf leader in Sulu allegedly involved in Friday's clash.
Alias Vikram, a relative of ASG leader Radullan Sahiron, was known for making improvised explosive devices used in the bombings of the Jolo Cathedral and the 1st Brigade Combat Team last year.