11 Killed, 5 hurt in renewed clashes in Basilan

ELEVEN people were killed while five others were wounded in the series of clashes in Basilan island today.

Maj Gen Rainier Cruz, the Commander of the 1st Inf Division said that the troops of the 11th Scout Ranger Company led by Cpt Rholie Villaluna, encountered an undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf bandits in Upper Cabengbeng village, Sumisip town at around 7:30am today.

More troops were sent to reinforce the heavily engaged soldiers.

A running gun battle ensued as the bandits gradually retreated, pursued by the soldiers.

Cruz said that 7 were killed and 3 wounded among the Rangers.

Four bandits were killed and 2 others were wounded.

The clash followed the attack on a military detachment securing therubber planter’s cooperative in Cabengbeng village yesterday 11am.

‘We are saddened by the untimely deaths of our soldiers. Our focusedmilitary operations against the bandits will continue. We could notallow the criminals to disturb the peace, targeting innocent civiliansin a mixed Muslim-Christian community in Tumahubong village. Banditryhas no place in a civilized world,’ said Major Harold Cabunoc, Army Spokesman.

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