Three police officers and a militiaman were badly injured after being ambushed by Abu Sayyaf (ASG) bandits in Patikul, Sulu Wednesday night. 

The government troops were attacked at around 6:50 p.m. in Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul, Sulu while on security patrol. The encounter happened within 5 minutes.

Lt. Col. Gerald Monfort, Joint Task Force Sulu information officer, said troops from the Army’s 6th Special Forces Battalion helped the policemen and Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT), forcing the ASG bandits to flee in different directions.

The injured policemen and BPAT members were immediately brought to Camp Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Hospital in Jolo, Sulu.

Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said the ambush could be the ASG’s retaliation for the series of recent offensive setbacks of the ASG “as a result of the active participation of the civilians to our security programs.”

“Their strategy is to sow terror and threat to the general public. Hence, I urge the entire peace-loving Tausug community not to give in to such terror scheme. Let us remain firm with our resolve in putting an end to this senseless violence that has destroyed the image of Sulu for decades,” Vinluan added.  (RJ Espartinez)