ZAMBOANGA CITY - At least 4 soldiers were killed in an encounter with suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Patikul, Sulu on Friday.
The soldiers from the 31st Infantry Battalion encountered around 150 armed men reportedly led by Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon in Sitio Dyandungan in Barangay Buhanginan on Friday at 10:30 a.m.
After a heavy firefight, 4 soldiers were killed and 16 were injured. The wounded were brought to Camp Navarro General Hospital for immediate treatment.
The military is still verifying the number of casualties on the enemy side, according to Western Mindanao Command spokesman Major Filemon Tan Jr.
Pursuit operations are still underway while blockades have been established along the perimeter of where the bandits could have retreated, he said.