BASILAN, PHILIPPINES: At least 7 people, including soldiers and militants, were killed during Saturday's clashes in the southern region of the Philippines, local media reported Sunday.
Officials told the Mindanao Examiner that national troops clashed with Abu Sayyaf militants for around three hours in the restive island province of Basilan: specifically in the village of Baiwas, which is located in the town of Sumisip: during a military operation that resulted in the capture of a militant camp.
According to reports, at least two soldiers were killed and an Abu Sayyaf sub-leader, Juhaiber Alamsirul, were among five militants also killed in the fighting, which was the culmination of an extensive intelligence operation that successfully located the camp.
The camp, which reportedly houses up to 50 militants, has seven bunkers, and during the battle, around 30 militants faced off Filipino troops.
Five soldiers and an undetermined number of militants were also wounded in the fighting. The wounded soldiers were evacuated quickly to a military hospital in Zamboanga where they are currently being treated, said Brigadier General Nicanor Dolojan, commander of military forces in Basilan.
Dolojan said troops also seized several bandoleers, one set of police uniform, three cell phones, and hand-held radio transceivers, two magazines for M14 rifle, ammunition, and seven camouflage hammocks from the Abu Sayyaf camp.
Early in the week, security forces killed another Abu Sayyaf sub-leader, Suhud Tanadjalin, in a raid at his hideout in Basilan’s Tuburan town.
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