Military captures wounded Abu Sayyaf subleader in Sulu

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 31) — The military captured an Abu Sayyaf subleader Saturday after a brief clash between its troops and members of the bandit group.

In a press release, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) said the military nabbed ASG subleader Walton Juljirin during clearing operations in Sulu.

Civilians tipped troops who were on rescue operations for ASG kidnap victims on the location of the group. The soldiers then encountered about five Abu Sayyaf members under Juljirin, the military said.

The bandits were supposedly hiding at Sitio Kan Bading, Brgy. Taung in Patikul, Sulu after a clash with the military earlier in March.

The members escaped after a five-minute firefight with the military which left one of the bandits severely wounded.

Soldiers eventually captured Juljirin during clearing operations, Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana said.

Sobejana said the military immediately gave the wounded subleader medical attention and brought him to the headquarters of the 501st Brigade in Brgy Tagbak, Indanan, Sulu.

According to the military, Juljirin’s group is responsible for a series of improvised explosive device (IED) and roadside bombings along the highway of Patikul Sulu.

The AFP recovered one cal 7.62 FN-G1 rifle, magazines, ammunitions, suspected Improvised Explosive Device and two hand grenades from the encounter.

A total of 84 Abu Sayyaf members have been neutralized this 2018 due to “intensified operations” by military Joint Task Forces in Western Mindanao.