Government troops seized a large camp of the Abu Sayyaf in Patikul, Sulu, on Monday, after a bloody clash with the bandit group Sunday afternoon.

The camp, which has 42 structures and can accomodate about 100 persons, was found in Brgy. Langhub, said Ensign Chester Ian Ramos, public affairs officer of the Armed Forces’ Joint Task Force Zambasulta.

Elements of the Joint Task Group Sulu were conducting clearing operations around 8 a.m. when they discovered the encampment, he said.

Soldiers found empty shells of a 57-mm recoilless rifle, an M60 machine gun, M203 grenade launcher, AK-47 rifles, as well M14 and M16 rifles, at the camp, Ramos said.

Also found were two handheld radios, a marble gun, four jungle hammocks, eight combat boots, two rain boots, nine backpacks, military uniforms and shirts, a solar panel, three solar headlights, 21 water containers, two sandals, and six slippers, he said.

“Walang encounter na nangyari, [the camp was discovered] while the troops were conducting clearing operations… Progress na ito ng encounter kahapon,” Ramos said.

On Sunday afternoon, a member of the Army’s elite Scout Rangers was killed and four others were injured in a clash with about 60 Abu Sayyaf members in Brgy. Bungkaong, also in Patikul. (John Roson)

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