ZAMBOANGA CITY—It was the work of barbarians.That was how a Navy officer described the beheading of five out of seven Philippine Marines killed in fierce fighting with the Abu Sayyaf bandits in a Sulu jungle Thursday.
Those decapitated in Thursday’s clash included a 2nd lieutenant, a sergeant, and three privates first class.
The head of one of the privates first class remains missing, the officer said.
“This is a barbaric act,” said Commodore Armando Guzman, Naval Forces Western Mindanao commander. “This is the saddest part. Explaining to their families how it happened. It’s not easy on our part.”
Colonel Daniel Lucero, commander of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade based in Lanao who spent time in Basilan before, said it was not unusual for the Abu Sayyaf to mutilate fallen soldiers.
“They behead soldiers to dehumanize our troops,” Lucero said, citing at least two i
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