MANILA, Philippines—Abu Sayyaf gunmen killed 16 villagers in a road-side attack as the victims travelled in two vans to visit relatives in Barangay Lower Talipao, Talipao, Sulu, Monday morning, a military official said.
Captain Rowena Muyuela, Western Mindanao Command Public Information Officer, said that there were also 13 children who were wounded after about 50 members of the Islamist rebel group with Idang Susukan and Sibih Pisih in the lead attacked the group at 8:30 am Monday.
Marine Brigadier General Martin Pinto says the Abu Sayyaf militants staged the attack in a coastal village in the predominantly Muslim Sulu province, where the militants have survived in their jungle encampments despite years of American-backed Philippine military offensives.
Muyuela added the 2nd Marine Brigade conducted pursuit operations “immediately” after the attack.
“This is the retaliory action of the Abu Sayyaf against the Barangay Police Action Team that supports the Armed Forces and the Police,” Muyuela said.