ZAMBOANGA CITY—While Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice on Friday (July 31), government forces and Abu Sayyaf clashed in Sulu, leaving three soldiers and six members of the homegrown terror group dead.
The gun battle occurred at the village of Taong, Patikul town around 11 a.m., according to Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Western Mindanao Command chief and incoming chief of the Philippine Army.
Sobejana said the soldiers were on security watch as residents celebrated Eid al-Adha, one of Islam’s most important feast and observed in the Philippines as a national holiday.
Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, chief of the anti-terror Joint Task Force Sulu, said soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Battalion were on patrol when they were attacked by Abu Sayyaf members, which triggered a gun battle.
Vinluan said three soldiers were also wounded in the clash and were rushed to the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo town.
Vinluan added that the bodies of three of the six slain terrorists were recovered at the clash site when soldiers scoured the area after the terrorists fled. Their identities are being determined.
The identities of the three soldiers had been withheld as their families have yet to be notified.
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