A LEADER of the Abu Sayyaf group involved in the bandit group’s bombing and kidnapping activities was one of the two men slain during last Sunday’s firefight between the armed group and elite Army soldiers in Patikul town in Sulu.
Capt. Arvin Encinas, spokesman of the Zamboanga City-based AFP Western Mindanao Command, said slain sub-leader Taullah Abdurasa, alias Amah Ollah, was a known follower of senior ASG leader Radullan Sahiron.
Intelligence reports indicate that Abdurasa was “involved in atrocities in Sulu like bombing and kidnapping.”
The second group member was Baby Abdurasa, also known as Baby Ollah, who the AFP Joint Task Force Sulu described as a “notorious” bandit member “selected as a mission suicide bomber.” The military did not elaborate on what suicide mission the second member had been tasked to conduct.
The Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for at least seven suicide bombings over the past couple of years.
The two Abu Sayyaf men were killed after fighting out with troops of the 15th Scout Ranger Company on Sunday afternoon in barangay Bakong in Patikul. Encinas said five soldiers were wounded in the firefight with 40 Abu Sayyaf men under Sahiron and sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, correcting previous information that only soldiers were injured in the clash.
The soldiers were on a mission to rescue five Indonesian nationals and a Filipino doctor who are being held by the group in Patikul town.
“Pursuit and deliberate offensives continue to pressure and pound down Abu Sayyaf fighters, constricting their movement and preempting terror ploys in the ZamBaSulTa area,” said Wesmincom chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.
“We build up combat and intelligence operations to debilitate the militants in Sulu,” Sobejana added.