Lawless element neutralized; explosive seized in Basilan

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In the early hours of January 17, 2022, combined military and police units neutralized a lawless element in a brief gunfight in Barangay Limbocandis, Sumisip, Basilan.

According to Lt. Gen Alfredo Rosario Jr., the The 64th Infantry Battalion and the Basilan Provincial Police Office responded to a report of an individual in possession of an Anti-Personnel Mine (APM). The suspect, named as Ajie Gomez, resisted the search operation by attempting to use his M16 rifle against the operating troops, prompting government authorities to retaliate.

The gunfight resulted in the death of Gomez and the recovery of one M16A1 rifle with two magazines loaded with 58 rounds of ammunition, one cal. 38 revolver with six rounds of ammunition, one bandoleer, and one anti-personnel mine with the following components: motorcycle chain, one bottle of possible 2T motorcycle oil uses as explosive container, Ammonium Nitrate/Fuel Oil (ANFO), one 9 volts battery, and tripwire. While the military and police continue to step up security procedures, the suspect’s cadaver was handed over to his family for a proper burial.

According to Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway, Commander of Joint Task Force Basilan, Gomez was a sympathizer of Abu Sayyaf Group sub-leader Pasil Bayali, a.k.a. Kera, who is responsible for a series of bomb threats and extortion in Basilan.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Rosario, Jr. said that, “The Joint Task Force Basilan continues to heighten its security operations in areas infested by the terror group and other lawless elements to ensure the safety and security of the Basileños”.

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