In the ongoing military offensive against Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) commander Isnilon Hapilon and his followers who are now holed up in Butig, Lanao Del Sur, an estimated 15 terrorists were killed and another seven wounded. The airstrike-led campaign officially began midnight of Jan. 26, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said Sunday.
“At least 15 were killed and seven others wounded including a foreigner from groups comprised of ASG leader Isnilon Hapilon and his cohorts from Basilan; the Brothers Abdullah, Omar, and Otto Maute; and other local and foreign terror personalities in airstrikes a little past midnight (January 26),” he added.
Among the 15 terrorists claimed killed is an Indonesian terror suspect identified only as “Mohisen,” and two other local terrorists identified as Sahl Num and one alias “Sadat”.
Two among the seven wounded were identified as one Amirul and the other is the proclaimed “Emir” and Hapilon from Basilan.
The latter, according to reports, was severely wounded.
“Our focused military operations backed by intelligence from the community and available wherewithals of the AFP will be unrelenting,” Arevalo said.
While he is pleased with the results, AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año said it is too early to rejoice yet.
“It is too early to rejoice but I consider this initial success a significant gain in the campaign to defeat the terror groups in Western Mindanao by the end of June 2017 as desired by the President and Commander-in-Chief Rodrigo Duterte,” he added.