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55 patay sa bakbakan ng AFP vs ASG sa Basilan

Nalagasan ng 23 sundalo ang Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) sa itinuturing isa sa pinakamatinding pakikipagsagupaan sa bandidong Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) sa lalawigan ng Basilan nitong Miyerkules.

Sa naturang engkuwentro na tumagal ng halos isang araw, dalawang kuta umano ng ASG ang nakubkob ng mga sundalo na nagresulta naman sa pagkakapatay sa 31 kasapi ng mga hinihinalang bandido.

Ayon kay Navy chief Vice Adm. Ferdinand Golez, tinatayang 400 tropa ng pamahalaan na kinabibilangan ng mga sundalong Marines, Army at commando unit ng Philippine National Police, ang sumalakay sa kampo ng ASG sa kabundukan ng Unkaya Pukan, Basilan noong Miyerkules ng madaling araw.

Pinapaniwalaan na tinatayang 150 miyembro ng Abu Sayyaf ang nasa lugar na kinabibilangan ng mga suspek sa serye ng pagbobomba at kidnapping sa Mindanao.

Kabilang sa mga nasawi sa tropa ng pamahalaan ay 18 miyembro ng Marines na kasama reinforcement at nakasagupa ang malaking grupo ng mga tumatakas na ASG, ayon kay Golez.

"It was a slugfest," paglalarawan ni Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino, hepe ng AFP-Western Mindanao Command, sa panayam ng Associated Press sa telepono.

"It was really close-quarter fighting so we couldn't use our artillery," idinagdag niya.

Patuloy umanong tinutugis ng tropa ng pamahalaan ang mga nakatakas na bandido.

Bukod sa 23 sundalo, isang pulis din ang nasawi. Samantalang apat sa 18 sugatan ang kritikal, pahayag ni Golez.

Sinabi ni Golez na 31 kasapi ng ASG ang napatay sa engkuwentro ngunit hindi nila nakuha ang lahat ng bangkay dahil ilan sa mga ito ay dinala ng mga tumakas na bandido.

Hinihinala rin niya na ilan sa mga nakasagupang ASG ay miyembro ng rebeldeng Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).


For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

Iginiit naman ni MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu na 10 sa mga napaslang ng militar ay tauhan nila at hindi kasapi ng ASG.

Nagkataon lang umano na nasa lugar ng engkuwentro ang kasapi ng MILF nang sumalakay ang tropa ng gobyerno.

Sa panayam ng GMANews.TV kay Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr, information chief ng AFP, sinabi nito na dalawa sa mga napaslang na sundalo ay opisyal.

"What we targeted was their main camp where their bombers are being trained. We recovered several IEDs (improvised explosive devices)," idinagdag niya.

Ayon kay Dolorfino, mahalaga sa operasyon ng ASG ang nabanggit na bayan at maraming residente rito ang nakikisampatya sa grupo.

"Malapit dito ang sources nila (Abu Sayyaf) ng logistic support na galing sa sympathetic civilians," paliwanag ni Dolorfino.

Naging maingat din umano ang tropa ng pamahalaan na hindi madamay sa engkuwentro ang mga miyembro ng MILF kung saan malapit din ang kampo ng mga rebelde sa pinangyarihan ng bakbakan.

"Nagkakaroon ng panganib na ma-involve ang MILF. Lalo na ngayon na may suspension tayo of military operations," pahayag ng opisyal sa panayam ng Balitanghali.

Iniutos ni Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo noong Hulyo 23 na itigil ang operasyon laban sa MILF upang bigyan-daan ang usapang pangkapayapaan na natigil noong nakaraang taon.

Kasabay nito, tiniyak ni Dolorfino na hindi madadamay ang mga sibilyan na namamalagi sa isang resettlement camp sa Basilan kaugnay sa naganap na labanan sa ASG.

"Sana mawala nang pangamba sa kanila (publiko). What happened yesterday was a legal military operation," ayon kay Dolorfino. "Hindi kami gumamit ng malalaking kalibre ng armas, kanyon, at bomba. Very precise ang operations at directed solely sa Abu Sayyaf.

Dahil sa naturang operasyon, nakubkob ng tropa ng militar ang pinapaniwalaang kuta ng ASG kung saan ginagawa umano ang pagsasanay sa mga miyembro nito sa paggawa ng bomba. - GMANews.TV, AP

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/169750/(Update)-55-patay-sa-bakbakan-ng-AFP-vs-ASG-sa-Basilan

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