The Black Banner Used by the Islamic State Adopted by the Abu Sayyaf Terrorist Group.
Two Abu Sayyaf Militants Killed in an Army Rescue Operation
MANILA, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) – The Philippine troops killed two Abu Sayyaf militants during a clash on Sunday in the mountainous Patikul town in Sulu Province in the southern Philippines, a military spokesman said.
Major Arvin Encinas of the military’s Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said army scout rangers battled 40 militants near the village Bakong at around 1 p.m. on Sunday while trying to rescue five Indonesians and a Filipino doctor that Abu Sayyaf kidnapped last month and early this month.
Encinas said two militants were killed and the rest fled and were chased by the elite troops. At least two army scout rangers were also injured in the clash, Encinas said.
“This is part of our rescue operation, but we are not yet sure if this is the specific group holding the kidnap victims,” he added.
Westmincom commander Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana said Sunday’s encounter is an offshoot of the military’s continued search and rescue operation to find all the hostages that Abu Sayyaf kidnapped last month and early this month.
On Jan. 16, Abu Sayyaf gunmen seized five Indonesian fishermen off Sabah in Malaysia and brought them to Sulu. Philippine troops recovered the boat the kidnappers used and killed one of their captors following a firefight in Sulare island in Parang town, Sulu two days later.
Abu Sayyaf gunmen also abducted a Filipino doctor in the remote Jolo town in Sulu Province on Feb. 4, bringing the total number of hostages to six.