MANILA - At least 3 individuals, including a 7-year old child and a woman, were killed after soldiers and Abu Sayyaf bandits traded fire in Limaong Island, Zamboanga City early Friday morning.
The third fatality is a bandit identified as Abu Nibras, a follower of Isnilon Hapilon and Abdullah Indanan in Basilan, said Col. Leonel Nicolas, commander of Task Force Zamboanga.
The child and the woman were caught in the crossfire during the 10-minute gun battle, according to Nicolas. Three minors were also reported wounded after the incident and were brought immediately to a hospital for medical attention.
Operating troops had no idea that there were civilians near the encounter site, said Nicolas. Soldiers were verifying information from civilians that armed men were sighted in Limaong island Friday dawn, he said.