5 Abu Sayyaf men killed in Zamboanga Sibugay

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    FIVE members of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf were killed while two government soldiers were injured in a firefight in RT Lim town in Zamboanga Sibugay yesterday.

    Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, commander of the Army’s 102nd Brigade, said the terrorists were planning to conduct a kidnapping operation when they were encountered by troops from the 44th Infantry Battalion.

    He did not say who was the kidnap target.

    Capt. Clint Antipala, spokesman of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said the soldiers were on pursuit operation when they clashed with about 10 Abu Sayyaf men at around 2 a.m. in Barangay President Roxas.

    Antipala said the 30-minute firefight also resulted in the recovery of four high-powered firearms .

    The military withheld the identities of the injured soldiers who are currently confined at the Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga City. Antipala said the two are in “stable condition.”

    The terrorists are part of a group engaged by troops on Sunday during a raid on a safehouse of Abu Sayyaf leader Furuji Indama in Alicia town. The clash led to the death of a man described by the military as a “close associate” of Indama, and wounding of two soldiers and three civilians.

    In October last year, Abu Sayyaf members kidnapped a British businessman and his Filipina wife in Tukuran town in Zamboanga del Sur. The couple was rescued more than a month later after a brief firefight with the kidnappers in Parang town in Sulu.