1 soldier dead, 3 others wounded in clash with Abu Sayyaf

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 14) — A soldier was killed while three others were wounded in a clash with around 30 Abu Sayyaf members Thursday in Patikul, Sulu.

The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said in a statement that members of the 6th Special Forces Battalion engaged in a 20-minute gunfight with Abu Sayyaf fighters in Barangay Igasan at around 11:30 a.m.

The wounded were transported to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Hospital in Bus-bus, Jolo, the command said.

Westmincom commander Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega assured that immediate assistance will be provided to the casualties.

Dela Vega said troops are pursuing the evading militants.

"Our tactical and intelligence operations targeting the neutralization of the militants and the penetration of the enemy's strategic strongholds will be bolstered," he said. "We will relentlessly pursue Abu Sayyaf fighters, weaken their will to fight, and crush groups propagating terrorism in Mindanao."