A video showing the actual gun fight between government troops and members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) during the Basilan clash on Saturday, April 9, has been viral on social media.
According to Kickerdaily report, the 10-minute clip showed a number of soldiers exchanging gunfires with unseen enemies in an undisclosed location which is believed to be somewhere in the town of Tipo Tipo – the place of the bloody encounter that killed at least 23 people.
The government side lost 18 of its soldiers while 5 ASG members were also killed. Four of the soldiers were also beheaded.
A report from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed 53 more soldiers were wounded while at least 20 Muslim rebels sustained injuries in the standoff that lasted nearly 10 hours.
AFP spokesman Major Filemon Tan said the government troops were conducting military operations in the area following the series of abductions of foreigners by the terror group.
The soldiers, who belonged to the Philippine Army’s 4th Special Forces Battalion and 44th Infantry Battalion, reportedly encountered around 120 ASG rebels around 7:55 a.m. near Sitio Bayoko, Barangay Baguindan before the intense gun fight broke out.
The names of the soldiers killed in the encounter were later released by the AFP. They are: 1LT Remegio B. Licena (PA), SSg Makin B. Jarani (PA), Sgt. Jayson Alani Inf (PA, 44IB), Sgt. Paterno G. Oquino (PA), Sgt. Akhad M. Usman (PA), Cpl. Rodelio Bangcairin P(A), Cpl. Rodel Perolino (PA), Cpl. Dionisio L. Labial (PA), Cpl. Rakib Kadil (PA), Cpl. Reezvi Arshcelo H. Gandawali (PA), Cpl. Noel R. Else (PA), Cpl. Darius Bulan (PA), Cpl. Ibrahim Palao (PA), Pfc. Kevin Rey S. Verano (PA), Pvt. Dunemark Gil Saldivar (PA), Pfc. Marjun Duhaylungsod (Inf-PA), Pfc. Marjohri G Monte (Inf-PA), and Pfc Doren A. Aspurias (Inf-PA).
Among the terrorists killed were Hapilon’s own son Ubaida Hapilon and Mohammad Khattab; a Moroccan national who is suspected to be an international terrorists.
Meanwhile, it os not known who took the video and leaked the copy online, but the clip has been shared widely on Facebook pages like the Tamaraw Riders on Monday, April 11.
Whether the fight indeed took place on Saturday in Basilan cannot be immediately verified.