By ANTHONY VARGAS
A commander of the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) and five of his men were killed in an encounter with elite Marine troops, while one soldier died and two others were wounded, early Sunday morning in Maimbung, Sulu, the military said.
Lt. General Ben Dolorfino, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief confirmed that Al Bader Parad was among the ASG killed in the clash.
Parad is said to be responsible for last year’s kidnapping of three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross and of a news team of the ABS-CBN network.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Brawner Jr. also confirmed Parad’s death and said the ASG commander’s body had been brought to Camp Bautista, the Marine headquarters in Sulu.
Dolorfino said elements of the 4th Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT-4) were on combat patrol in Sitio Kandang Tukay in Brgy. Karawan of Maimbung town when they stumbled on an ASG encampment in the area.
Dolorfino said a two-hour firefight ensued. “The encounter started at 7 am and lasted till 9 am…” Dolorfino said.
Aside from the bodies of the slain ASG, the soldiers also recovered a Belgian FN rifle, a SAW and two M203 grenade launchers.
Later in the day, another firefight broke out between the MBLT-4 and the ASG.