At least six soldiers killed in firefight with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu
At least six soldiers were killed while nine others were wounded in a clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu province, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Saturday.
The AFP said the Abu Sayyaf suffered at least four casualties during the firefight in Patikul town, radio dzBB's Manny Vargas reported.
However, an earlier Twitter post by GMA TV reporter Jun Veneracion said as many as seven soldiers may have been killed.
JUST IN: 7 soldiers killed and 9 wounded in firefight with ASG in Patikul, Sulu. Bandits suffered 4 casualties.--AFP
— Jun Veneracion (@jun_veneracion) May 25, 2013
Citing initial reports from Western Mindanao Command spokesman Col. Rodrigo Gregorio, the report said the incident occurred at about 6:45 a.m. at Tugas village in Patikul town.
Gregorio said the fatalities belonged to the 2nd Marine Brigade.
The initial investigation showed that the soldiers were on an operation to pursue some members of the bandit group.
After the incident, the Marines and AFP have beefed up their presence at Barangay Tugas and are conducting pursuit operations against the bandits. - VVP, GMA News