14 soldiers wounded in clashes with Abu Sayyaf

MANILA, Philippines – Up to 14 soldiers were wounded in clashes with the Abu Sayyaf Group on Friday, March 3, as the military intensified operations after the beheading of a German hostage. 

Army spokesman Colonel Benjamin Hao said troops from the 32nd Infantry Battalion encountered a group of over a hundred under Abu Sayyaf top leader Radullan Sahiron in the vicinity of Kan Udong in barangay Igasan of Patikul, Sulu.

The military claimed Sahiron has linked up with sub-leaders Sawadjaan and Almuher Yadah as pressure from the military has supposedly limited their movements. 

The local terrorist group beheaded German hostage Juergen Kantner on Sunday, February 26, after the deadline it set for a P30-million ($600,000) ransom lapsed.

President Rodrigo Duterte has apologized to Germany for failing to stop the beheading. 

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana vowed there would be no let up in operations against the Abu Sayyaf. 

"Make no mistake. They will feel the wrath of the entire Filipino nation through the might of its armed forces," Lorenzana said in a statement. – Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com