Soldier killed, 2 others hurt in Sulu ambush

TAUSUG SOLDIER. Photo shows Private Joefrazen Tawasil, a Tausug native, who was killed while two of his companions were wounded in an ambush staged by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits on Tuesday (Jan. 25, 2022) in Patikul, Sulu. The bandits ambushed them while they were facilitating the administrative movement of the 45th Infantry Battalion. (Photo courtesy of 11ID)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A Tausug soldier was killed while two others were wounded in an ambush staged by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in the province of Sulu, the military disclosed Wednesday.

The Army’s 11th Infantry Division (11ID) said in a statement that the incident happened around 7 p.m. Tuesday in Barangay Tugas, Patikul, Sulu.

Killed was Private Joefrazen Tawasil, 25, a member of the Army’s 45th Infantry Battalion (IB), and was one of the Tausug natives who belonged to the Magkagilas Class 656-2021. The batch graduated from basic military training on September 20, 2021 at the 11th Division Training School in Sulu.

Wounded were a certain Private Morales and Private Mulkiri. “They were hospitalized and are in stable condition,” 1Lt. Jerrica Angela Manongdo, 11ID information officer, assured.

Tawasil and his companions were aboard a military truck of the  45IB when ASG bandits led by sub-leader Ellam Nasirin ambushed them. The 11ID said the ambush was in retaliation to the relentless military operations during the Yuletide season that injured several ASG bandits.

“We are saddened by the untimely death of our brother in arms and we send our deepest sympathies to his family. He was born and raised in Indanan, Sulu; a loving son to his parents who are farmers,” the 11ID said in a statement.

“His bravery in joining the fight against terrorism embodies the values of a Tausug warrior. He will remain in our hearts and we guarantee that his sacrifices will not go in vain,” the statement added.

Residents of Sulu also denounced the attack, saying that it was both anti-Tausug and anti-Muslim. “They killed a Tausug, not a soldier. We lost a brother Muslim,” said Saujar Bara, Barangay Tugas chairperson, in a statement Wednesday.

“We will not allow the ASG to stop us, the Tausugs together with the government, in working to attain peace and development in our province,” he added.

Troops are now pursuing the group of Nasirin. (PNA)