GOVERNMENT forces foiled what could have been another deadly attack shortly after they encountered Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and recovered six improvised explosive devices (IEDs) the other day in Maluso, Basilan.
This was confirmed yesterday by Major Arvin Encinas, spokesman of AFP-Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom).
Encinas said the encounter occurred on Tuesday at Barangay Calang Canas, Maluso, Basilan.
He said elements of Alpha company of the 68th Infantry Battalion (IB) received information regarding the alleged plan of Furuji Indama’s group to create havoc in the area.
In response to the information troops immediately conducted patrol operation and encountered at least 15 bandits.
A firefight immediately occurred and lasted for several minutes until the bandits withdrew towards an unknown direction.
Joint Task Force Basilan Commander Brig. Gen. Fernando Reyes said the enemy fled with their casualties.
While scouring the encounter site, operating troops together with K9 personnel recovered six Improvised Explosive Devices about to be laid along the Basilan Circumferential Road.
Blood stains of enemy casualties were also noticeable in the area.
“We are grateful that we did not incur any casualty during the operation and we were able to secure the IEDs and foil the bomb plot of the enemies,” Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, WestMinCom commander said.
The troops still pursuing the fleeing enemies while the IEDs were turned over to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team for proper disposition.
“The successful recovery of the IEDs is attributed to the concerned citizen who provided the information, to the local government units of Basilan, and to our gallant soldiers who are always steadfast in accomplishing their mission,” Sobejana added.