A suspected Indonesian militant was killed and one of Southeast Asia’s top terror suspects was seriously wounded as the Philippines launched airstrikes using South Korean-made jet fighters for the first time in combat, officials said Sunday.
Philippine military Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Ano said the body of the suspected Indonesian militant—known by his nom de guerre Mohisen—was recovered by troops, along with three dead Filipino followers of militant leader Isnilon Hapilon, who was seriously wounded in the assault on the hilly outskirts of Butig town in Lanao del Sur province.
Eleven other militants were reportedly killed, Gen. Ano said, citing intelligence, but added their bodies haven't been found.
Mr. Hapilon was wounded in the arm and was losing blood after military aircraft, including FA-50 supersonic jet fighters, unleashed six 500-pound bombs Wednesday night and Thursday on a militant encampment as part of a continuing offensive, Gen. Ano and another air force official said. It was the first time the FA-50s, which were acquired from South Korea in late 2015 as the military’s only jet fighters, were deployed in a combat mission.
Four FA-50s have been delivered and eight more are to be delivered by July, air force officials said. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has criticized the FA-50s as being inadequate for counterinsurgency and good only as flyby aircraft for ceremonies.