Thursday, May 18, 2017
Philippine troops kill 149 Abu Sayyaf militants
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Nearly 150 Daesh-linked terrorists have been killed in the all-out offensives launched by government troops since January this year in the country's troubled south.
In a statement on Wednesday, Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command, confirmed the deaths of 149 Abu Sayyaf militants in Sulu and neighboring provinces.
Since January, he said, 50 Abu Sayyaf members also surrendered to the security forces, adding that 18 others were apprehended and 70 high-powered firearms were recovered in the operations.
Galvez said he ordered troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu to flush out the Abu Sayyaf from their comfort zones and bring them to places where they are vulnerable.
Meanwhile, Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesperson of Western Mindanao Command, said two militants were killed in a 15-minute gun battle with troops at Patikul hill in Sulu province Tuesday night.
"We're able to recover the remains of the two terrorists who are still yet to be identified," Petinglay said.
Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf -- armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles -- has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortion in a self-determined fight for an independent province in the Philippines.
It is one of two militant groups in the south who have pledged allegiance to Daesh, prompting fears during the stalling of a peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that it could make inroads in a region torn by decades of armed conflict.
By Hader Glang
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2 Abu Sayyaf killed, 2 others surrender as Sulu operations continue
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Government troops killed two Abu Sayyaf members in a firefight in Patikul town, Sulu on Tuesday and accepted the surrender of two others in Kalingalang Caluang town on the same day.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, said soldiers with the 10th Infantry Division clashed with 15 Abu Sayyaf members at Patikul Hill, Barangay Sandah for five minutes, leaving two militants dead.
Sobejana said the troops recovered the remains of the two Abu Sayyaf members but that they have yet to be identified. The troops recovered three M16 assault rifles from them.
Meanwhile, Abu Sayyaf members Musa Jamil Alsid, 19, and Mohammad Waddang Udding, 20, of Barangay Pitogo, Kalingalang Caluang town, surrendered to the 2nd Special Forces Battalion under Lt. Col. Gaspar Panopio.
He said the surrender was made possible through the efforts of the 3rd Civilian Active Auxiliary Sulu Company.
Alsid and Udding, both followers of slain Abu Sayyaf leader Alhabsy Misaya, also yielded an M16 rifle.
Sobejana said Alsid and Udding are going through a custodial debriefing conducted by personnel of the 2nd SFB in Talipao town.
Offensives take toll on Abu Sayyaf
The all-out offensives launched by the military since January have already resulted in the deaths of 81 suspected Abu Sayyaf members, the surrender of 50, and apprehension of 18 others, according to Lt.
Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr, commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
Galvez said the military has also seized a total of 70 firearms from the Abu Sayyaf group.
“My standing order to the JTF Sulu commander is to flush out the Abu Sayyaf from their comfort zones and bring them to places where they are vulnerable," Galvez said.
Galvez said before the campaign started last January that the military is going after more than 500 Abu Sayyaf members.
Military operations backed by local officials and even by the Moro National Liberation Front in Sulu and Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Basilan have resulted in almost half of that number being neutralized.
“It will just be a matter of time that we will defeat the entire group,” Galvez added.
Posted by wikisabah at 11:09:00 AM