MANILA - Three men suspected to be members of the Abu Sayyaf Group were killed in an encounter with state troops, the military said on Sunday.
“Based on the report from Joint Task Force Commander Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway, our troops encountered eight ASG members under ASG Sub-leader Pasil Bayali at Sitio Kura-Kura, Barangay Baiwas, Sumisip, Basilan around 7:40 in the morning, Sunday,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
The military said there was a 30-minute firefight after which the alleged terrorists withdrew in different directions.
Gobway said that reinforcements for the soldiers arrived and recovered two bodies.
Another encounter ensured while the reinforcing troops were conducting clearing operations in the area, he added.
A 15-minute firefight ensured resulting in the death of another ASG member, Gobway added.
The military is still verifying the identity of those killed.
No soldier was hurt in the operations, the military said.
This year, four ASG members were killed in Basilan, while 13 surrendered, and one was captured, the military said.