A member of the Army’s elite Scout Rangers was killed while four others were injured during a clash with Abu Sayyaf members in Patikul, Sulu, Sunday afternoon, the military said.

Elements of the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion were conducting “law enforcement operations” in Bud Pula, Brgy. Bungkaong, 4 p.m. when they encountered about 60 Abu Sayyaf members, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Capt. Maria Rowena Muyuela said.

The firefight, which lasted for more than an hour, resulted in the death of a soldier and the wounding of four others, Muyuela said in a text message Sunday night.

It was not immediately known if the bandits, who belong to the Abu Sayyaf’s so-called “Lucky 9” group or Ajang-Ajang, Muyuela said.

The bandits were led by Abu Sayyaf sub-commanders Hatib Aseri and Basarun Arok, whose followers ambushed a convoy of the Army’s 35th Infantry Battalion in Brgy. Bungkaong last Friday, she said.

Two soldiers were injured in the ambush.

Intelligence reports recieved by the military Sunday indicated that two of the attackers were killed and another was injured when the troops fought back, Muyuela said. (John Roson)

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