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Soldier, 7 Abus slain in firefight

Seven suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists and a soldier were killed during a fierce firefight that erupted in a village of Patikul town in Sulu, the military reported.

Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, Joint Task Group Sulu commander, said 17 soldiers were wounded in the clash. Six terrorists were also reportedly wounded, including wanted Abu Sayyaf leader Radullan Sahiron, he added.

However, the military said no bodies from the enemy side were actually recovered from the site of the clash.

Arrojado said soldiers from the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Battalion clashed with around 100 armed men under the one-armed Sahiron in Sitio Maggi, Barangay Panglayahan, Patikul town, on Friday morning. The firefight began at around 9: 15 a.m. and lasted until 10:40 a.m.

The United States government earlier put up a $1-million bounty for Sahiron’s arrest, apart from the P5-million reward put up by the Philippine government.

Arrojado said additional troops have been deployed to pursue the terrorist group.

Two military helicopters airlifted the lone fatality and the wounded soldiers on Friday morning and brought them to hospitals for medical treatment.

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