ZAMBOANGA CITY – A militiaman and three members of his family were wounded in a 30-minute clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Lamitan City, Basilan province, police and military officials said Monday.
Col. Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao, said the clash broke out when a group of Abu Sayyaf bandits attacked an Army detachment around 7:50 p.m. Sunday in Barangay Sabong.
Verceles identified the victims as Romy Mangkabung, 36, a militiaman; his wife, Hasma, 30; his daughter, Nasira, 22; and a 10-year-old nephew.
He said Mangkabung and his relatives were at the detachment of the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion when the bandits, led by a certain commander Abaas Jangkatan, attacked them.
Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway, the Army's 101st Infantry Brigade commander, believes the attack was in retaliation for the death of a follower of Jangkatan, identified only as a certain Tarzan, on Nov. 8, 2022 in Barangay Baas.
Tarzan and three others had just attended a wedding of a relative on the evening of Nov. 7, 2022, and decided to sleep off the night at a mini-stage in the area when attacked by unidentified gunmen early the next day.
Gobway said reports reaching him indicated that the group of Jangkatan suspects that the militiamen at the Sabong detachment, which is near Barangay Baas, were involved in the Nov. 8 incident. (PNA)