AT LEAST 40 Abu Sayyaf members were killed and 25 others were injured in the continuing and intensified military offensives in Sulu and Basilan.
Maj. Filemon Tan, Spokesman, AFP western Mindanao Command said to date there were 18 ASG members killed and 9 wounded in a series of clash between the AFP-PNP Joint Task Force Basilan and the rebels which started last week.
Killed in the series of armed confrontations were Julkifli Sariul and Kussien Pallam Seong. Among those wounded were Boy Indama, Abdul Karim, Hakim Jalul, Bong Assam, Albert Tuason and Gapul Melling in Barangay Baguindan and Silangkum, Basilan
In Sulu, 22 ASG members were killed and 16 others were wounded in the series of encounters with the government troops.
Along the casualties identified by troops based on intelligence reports were Abu Sayyaf members Sabtola Mahalli, Mallah Sangkula, and Bas Sariyul.
Sangkula and Mahalli, a follower of Abu Sayyaf Sub-Leader Basaron Arok, were killed in a clash with troops of the 35th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Maligay, Patikul last July 06.
Tan said Mahalli had a standing warrant of arrest for involvement in the kidnapping of ABS-CBN reporter Ces Drilon and Nelso Lim of the Mega Fishing.
Sariyul was killed in an encounter with 45th Infantry Battalion troops in Barangay Buhanginan Patikul, Sulu last July 07.
Others personalities are still for validation.
Meanwhile, Tan confirmed that only one killed and 6 wounded in action on the government troops.
Heavy firefight still ongoing involving Armored Vehicles, Artillery fires and Close Air Support against the ASG as of this time.
“Focused military operations are intensified, in coordination with the police and the local governments of the provinces of Basilan and Sulu, to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG),” according to Maj. Tan