6 Army servicemen killed in latest Basilan Abu Sayyaf attack

Mindanao Armed Conflict  • Thu Nov 9, 2017 06:30 PM  •  325   0
By John Unson
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COTABATO CITY --- Officials have condemned the hostilities on Wednesday in Barangay Cabengbeng in Sumisip, Basilan that left six soldiers dead and six others wounded.

Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said Thursday that the ARMM police will investigate on the incident and file criminal cases against the gunmen who attacked soldiers dispatched to the area to verify the reported sightings there of Abu Sayyaf bandits.

“They shall be prosecuted in court by the police,” Hataman said.

Basilan is a component province of ARMM, which also covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The slain and wounded soldiers belong to the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion.

They were sent to Upper Cabenbeng area in Sumisip to check on the reported presence there of Abu Sayyaf leaders Siar Alhamsirol and Parong Tedi when they were attacked from different directions while approaching the spot where the duo and their followers were seen by villagers.

Reports reaching the office here of Hataman, who is chairman of the ARMM’s regional peace and order council, said the encounter lasted for almost four hours and waned only when helicopter gunships helped drive the bandits away using machineguns.

Chief Supt. Graciano Mijares, director of the Police Regional Office-ARMM, said police investigators are now trying to establish the exact identities of the bandits responsible for the deaths of the six soldiers.

He assured that corresponding criminal cases shall be filed against them in court.

Hataman and Mijares both condemned the incident and promised to cooperate in the prosecution of the culprits.

The six soldiers wounded in the skirmishes are now confined in a hospital.
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