A least 14 members of the Abu Sayyaf rebels were captured and another one was killed following an encounter Saturday dawn with the Philippine government troops in the country’s south, military said.
The troops, composed of members from the 13th Scout Ranger Company and Scout Ranger Class 175, also captured several high-powered firearms and ammunition, according to Rear Admiral Alexander Pama, chief of the Task Force Trillium, a joint military unit tasked to hunt down the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan.
Mr. Pama said the two groups of scout rangers were on combat mission when they encountered 15 Abu Sayyaf militants led by a certain Umar Ipong alias Uman Ipong at about 05:30 a.m. local time Saturday in Sumisip town, Basilan province.
Fierce gunbattle ensued before the troops cornered the Abu Sayyaf militants leaving one killed and 14 others captured.
“The Scout Rangers outmaneuvered the Abu Sayyaf militants and pounced them that resulted to the success of the operation,”Pama said.
Pama added that the soldiers also captured several assault weapons from the captured militants from the encounter site including one M203 grenade launcher tube, six M16 rifles, one garrand rifle, two Icom transceivers, a grenade, a piece of blasting cap, a round of 60 mm mortar ammunition, two battery packs for Icom, eight sets of battle dress uniforms, three jungle packs, 7 ammunition carrying vests, three pairs of combat boots, and two cellularphones.
The remains of the slain militant were turned over to the village leaders while those captured suspects were placed under tactical interrogation before formal turnover to the police for proper filing of charges.
The military forces have been running after the Abu Sayyaf who were responsible in the bombing and attack last month in Isabela City , capital of Basilan.