Tag Archive: Scout Rangers

Government troops seized two Abu Sayyaf encampments in Patikul, Sulu, after a clash with the bandits Thursday afternoon, the military said.

Brigadier GeneralĀ Alan Arrojado, Armed Forces Joint Task Group Sulu commander, said soldiers encountered about 30 Abu Sayyaf members in Sitio Mabusing, Brgy. Langhub, around 1 p.m.

Elements of the Army’s 10th Scout Ranger Company were conducting field military operations when the encountered the bandits led by Abu Sayyaf sub-commanders Muammar Askali alis “Abu Rami,” Namel Ahajari alias “Namel Gapas,” and Arkam Udjaman alias “Isran,” he said.

A 15-minute firefight ensued, until the troops seized a temporary encampment that can accomodate 50 people, Arrojado said.

Soldiers found a rifle grenade, M16 magazine with 45 rounds of ammunition, and foodstuff at the camp.

No soldier was wounded while intelligence operatives reported that two Abu Sayyaf members were injured, Arrojado said.

Members of the 11th Scout Ranger Company operating nearby later found a larger encampment, he said.

The other camp has 18 fox holes and can accomodate 80 to 100 people, and is believed to be where the bandit group’s “main body” had positioned, Arrojado said. (John Roson)

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The military plans to send more troops to Basilan in the next few days to run after Abu Sayyaf members and other lawless elements involved in several incidents that have already left more than 20 people dead this month.

“Ang plano namin is to move in more troops, in the coming days magmo-move kami immediately ng one infantry battalion doon,” Maj. Gen. Rainier Cruz, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said in a phone interview.

A battalion, in military parlance, comprises about 500 soldiers. The 64th Infantry Battalion (64th IB) is expected to arrive in Basilan next week from Lanao del Sur, Cruz said.

Aside from the 64th IB, another battalion will be sent to Basilan next month to replace a unit there, he said.

Cruz made the remarks a day after members of the Army’s elite Scout Rangers figured in clashes with Abu Sayyaf members and other lawless elements in Sumisip.

19 dead in clashes

The clashes left 10 dead and 17 wounded soldiers, Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman of the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command, said.

Nine have been confirmed killed and at least seven were wounded among the “lawless elements,” he said.

Major Harold Cabunoc, Army spokesman, identified the slain soldiers as Pfc. Segundiano Tamayo Jr., Pfc. Rey Evangelista, Pfc. Arnold Coresis, Pfc. Cleto Algayan, Pfc. Kennith John Maribao, Pfc. Jose Marvin Talamante, Pfc. Mark Ocampo, Pfc. Arwin Martinez, Cpl. Jerry Areglado, and Pfc. Erwin Alerta.

Fatalities on the enemy side were identified as Ustadz Hassan Asnawi, his son Jumaidi Asnawi, Nurham Asnawi, Juhair Aliman, Kaobut Mastul, Hudjata Marain, Meloy Patpi, a certain Balong, and a still unidentified man from Tumahubong.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and AFP chief Gen. Jessie Dellosa visited the wounded soldiers at the Zamboanga Hospital and Camp Navarro Station Hospital, AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos said.

Families of the slain and wounded troopers will be given assistance, he said.

Four officers, who are among the wounded, opted to stay in Basilan to join pursuit operations once they have recovered, Burgos said.

Lapses seen

Cruz said the troops may have committed lapses during the clashes, hence the big number of casualties.

“Na-underestimate natin ‘yung capability ng kabila. Number one, Ramadan hindi dapat sila nago-operate pero medyo mas malaki ang tropa nila at saka may kaunting lapses tayo dun sa ambush,” he said.

The troops faced more than 100 lawless elements, Burgos said.

Earlier, 1st ID spokesman Capt. Albert Caber said two soldiers were killed when Abu Sayyaf members ambushed members of the 10th Scout Ranger Company and 32nd Infantry Battalion.

The troops were attacked around 3 p.m. while on the way to reinforce a detachment in Brgy. Upper Cabengbeng, which the bandits “harassed” an hour earlier, he said.

Operation deliberate

Cruz said Thursday’s clashes resulted from an operation purposely launched against those who ambushed a truck of the Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Cooperative (Tarbidc) last July 11. The ambush left six people dead and 22 others injured.

“Para matapos na ‘yung problema natin dito, hinanap nung tropa saka nung mga Tarbidc ‘yung pinanggagalingan ng problema dun sa pag-ambush sa kanila, so dun nga sa Upper Cabengbeng nakita,” he said.

“Itong mga ito yung nagnanakaw ng mga rubber sap sa rubber plantation ng Tarbidc. Combination ito ng Abu Sayyaf saka lawless elements na gustong makalibre ng product nung rubber trees doon,” Cruz said. (John Roson)

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this story has been updated, see update here

Eight government soldiers and four Abu Sayyaf members were killed in a clash in several hours of fighting in Sumisip, Basilan, Thursday, military officials said.

Three soldiers and two Abu Sayyaf members were also injured in the clash in Brgy. Upper Cabengbeng, Maj. Gen. Rainier Cruz, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said.

Capt. Albert Caber, spokesman of the 1st ID, said another soldier expired in the afternoon.

According to Cruz, 50 members of the 11th Scout Ranger Company, led by Capt. Rholie Villaluna, were conducting operations around 7:30 a.m. when they encountered an undetermined number of fully-armed men.

The armed men are the same ones who ambushed a truck of the (Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Cooperative (Tarbidc) in Brgy. Sapah Bulak, also in Sumisip, last July 11, Caber said.

Six people, mostly rubber tappers, were killed while 22 others were wounded in the ambush.

Caber said sporadic fighting was still going on in Upper Cabengbeng around 2 p.m.

“All troops were alerted for reinforcement. The Special Forces has already coordinated with higher offices for the possible deployment of air assets,” he added.

On Wednesday morning, a group of about 20 suspected Abu Sayyaf members also attacked a patrol base of soldiers and militiamen guarding Tarbidc, also in Brgy. Cabengbeng. No casualties were reported on both sides.

Major Harold Cabunoc, Army spokesman, said operations against the bandits will continue.

“We could not allow the criminals to disturb the peace, targeting innocent civilians in a mixed Muslim-Christian community in Tumahubong village. Banditry has no place in a civilized world,” he said. (John Roson)

this story has been updated, see update here

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