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1 dead, 5 hurt as troops raid Abu Sayyaf lair

MAP showing location of the town of Alicia in Zamboanga Sibugay.

A member of the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf was killed and at least five other persons were injured when government forces raided a suspected Abu Sayyaf lair in Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay, the military said Monday.

Troops recovered the body of one Idris Aquilon, a “close associate” of Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Furuji Indama, said Capt. Clint Antipala, Army 1st Infantry Division spokesman.

Two soldiers were wounded in the firefight, along with three civilians who happened to be in the vicinity, he said.

Members of the Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion, Naval Special Operations Unit, and the police carried out the operation around 3:15 a.m. Sunday, in Sitio Tubigsina, Barangay La Paz.

Lt. Col. Don Templonuevo, 44th IB commander, said the operation was hatched after residents reported that suspicious persons have been frequently staying in the area.

Aside from the slain militant’s body, troops recovered three rifle grenades, a magazine, bandolier, and several explosive materials and ammunition, at the clash site.

The injured civilians were brought to the nearest hospital under the care of the provincial and municipal government, Antipala said.

Pursuit operations are being conducted on land and sea against other militants who fled during the raid, he said.

Maj. Gen. Gene Ponio, 1st ID commander, assured that troops are on top of the situation but called on residents to remain vigilant.

“We enjoin everyone to remain vigilant in their surroundings and report to proper authorities suspicious individuals that may take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis situation to sow fear and terror,” he said.


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