Government troops clashed with the Abu Sayyaf kidnap for ransom group in Tawi-Tawi on Sunday, which led to the death of two rebels, the military said.
The fatalities were identified as Jul Haber a.k.a. Black Shabu/Toks and Kamsel Ampang, according to a press release from the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom).
Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi commander Colonel Arturo Rojas said Haber, a member of the Abu Sayyaf-kidnap for ransom group, arrived in Sitio Gigipan in Barangay Dungon, Panglima Sugala in Tawi-Tawi in May 2017.
"He was also engaged in illegal drug trade in the area of Tandubas together with Odin Masihul, a.k.a. Baby/Bedi/Ombak, who was neutralized in a buy-bust operation in Sitio Pahapatan, Barangay Baldatal Islam, Sapa-Sapa, Tawi-Tawi on November 20, 2019," Rojas said.
The 10-minute firefight occurred in Barangay Taruk in the municipality of Tandubas on Sunday morning.
Combined elements from the Marine Battalion Landing Team-6, Tandubas Municipal Police Station and Provincial Mobile Force Company conducted the joint law enforcement operation.
Recovered from the site were an M16 rifle (ELISCO) with scope; 123 rounds of 5.56mm live ammunition; six short alloy magazines of M16 rifle; three long magazines of M16 rifle (1 alloy and 2 plastic); one rifle grenade; one suspender; five plastic sachets made of straw; one plastic sachet of shabu; and other drug paraphernalia.
The wife and son of Haber were turned over to Barangay Taruk chairman Nasil Hajiul Abug, the military said.
The cadavers, meanwhile, were turned over to the Tandubas Municipal Police Station for proper disposition.
WestMinCom commander Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana commended the Marines and the police for the operation and urged them to continue collaborating to fight terrorism and criminality and work for peace in communities. —KG, GMA News