Two motorcyclists and a two-year-old were killed on Monday, the Eid’l Adha holiday, during an Abu Sayyaf Group attack outside Sulu's Talipao town.
According to the Armed Forces' Western Mindanao Command, Private First Class Joie Halasan of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion and Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit militiaman Aldazier Hassan were on a motorcycle, heading down the Patikul-Talipao road, when the gunmen opened fire on them.
The soldier and militiaman were killed during the attack, while two children, 2-year-old Abdukalim Sahisa and an 11-year-old were wounded.
The children were rushed to hospital where the Sahisa, unfortunately, expired at around 12:56 p.m.
The 11-year-old, a student at the Barangay Kagay Elementary School, remained in critical condition.
“We are deeply saddened by this very unfortunate incident that killed two of our valiant personnel and an innocent child,” said Joint Task Force Sulu commander Major General Corleto Vinluan Jr.
“We assure the families and friends of the victims that JTF Sulu will do its best to ensure that the perpetrators of this treacherous act will be brought to justice. This blatant disregard for the spirit of Islamic festivities is a clear disrespect of Islam's teachings," added Vinluan.
"We appeal to the entire Tausug Community not to succumb to the ASG’s desperate move of sowing fear among our people."
Likewise, Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana extended his sympathies to the bereaved families of the victims and promised that they would be provided with assistance. — DVM, GMA News