1 Army officer, 2 Abu Sayyaf members killed in Basilan clash

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — A military officer and two members of the Abu Sayyaf group were killed in a clash between government troops and rebels in Basilan on Thursday.

The firefight erupted around 7 a.m. in Barangay Cabcaban in the town of Sumisip, according to Major Filemon Tan, spokesman for the military's Western Mindanao Command.


The military said troops from the 4th Special Forces Battalion encountered an undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf fighters believed to be led by Basilan-based commander Furuji Indama.

Additional troops, including the 1st Special Forces Battalion, provided support to reinforce and possibly block enemy withdrawal.

During the fighting, 1st Special Forces Company Commander Captain Clinton Capio died of a gunshot wound to the head. His remains arrived in Zamboanga City at around noon on Friday and will be flown to Manila.


A soldier and three militiamen were also wounded. They are now confined at the Camp Basilio Navarro Hospital inside the Wesmincom headquarters.

The clash happened almost a week after the Armed Forces announced its target to defeat the Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist and lawless groups in Mindanao within six months.

In a press conference on Friday, Tan said the military is conducting hot pursuit operations against the Abu Sayyaf group.

He believes more bandits may have been killed and wounded.

Related: Who are the Abu Sayyaf?

This is a developing story. Please refresh page for updates.

Zamboanga City-based journalist Liza Jocson contributed to this story.