A sub-commander of the Abu Sayyaf group was allegedly killed while two soldiers were wounded in a gun battle that broke out in Patikul, Sulu on Friday morning, a top military official said.
Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, commander of 11th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said government forces encountered around 20 to 30 armed bandits in the village of Sanda in Patikul while conducting security patrols in the area.
Prior to the encounter, they received information from a civilian that the group was converging in the said remote village.
The body of the slain sub-commander was not recovered from the encounter site. Vinluan said a number of bandits may also have been seriously wounded based on bloodstains left in the area.
The bandits were led by another sub-commander Mundi Sawadjaan, a bomb expert and nephew of Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, self-proclaimed Emir of terror network ISIS in the Philippines, the army official said.
On November 13, at least 8 soldiers were wounded after a 40-minute fierce clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits in the village of Buhanginan, also in Patikul.