Two suspected members of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group were shot and killed during maritime patrol operations off Barangay Muti, Zamboanga City noontime Monday. In a statement Tuesday, Philippine Navy Spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna said naval units consisting of intelligence, special operation group members and fast craft were patrolling off Sitio Niyog-Niyog when they spotted a motorized pumpboat with the suspected bandits, allegedly under sub-leader Marzan Ajijul, apparently trying to extort money from fishermen in the area.
The military intercepted the bandits, triggering a 15-minute firefight which ended in the killing of the two ASG members, Lincuna added.
No losses were sustained by government forces. Recovered were a .45 caliber pistol, a hand grenade, and suspected “shabu”.
The pumpboat with “Irsan” markings with 13 horsepower single engine onboard was also recovered.
“The PN will continue conducting intensified maritime patrols together with other maritime agencies in order to address the illegal activities victimizing our fishermen and commercial vessels,” Lincuna said.