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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

2 Well-fortified Abu Sayyaf camps captured

Government forces have successfully captured two well-fortified camps of terrorist group Abu Sayyaf (ASG) in the hinterlands of Basilan province. Along with captured terrorist camps were explosives.

Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesperson Major Filemon Tan Jr. said one of the camps which was captured Monday, August 15 is located at Hill 355 in Barangay Silangkum, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan province.

According to Major Tan the camp has 10 bunkers measuring 4x4x5 feet that can accommodate more or less seven people; four tunnels that can be occupied by 20 people; several foxholes that can be occupied by eight people; a kitchen hut; and one exit post.

He said the troops of Philippine Army’s 4th Special Forces Battalion under Joint Task Force Basilan have recovered two improvised bombs with the following components: a 60-millimeter mortar cartridge; a plastic bottle with ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO); sharp nails; coins; one nine-volt battery; one small plastic box; wires; switch; and, an improvised electric blasting cap.

The other terrorist camp was captured Sunday. Major Tan said government forces simultaneously seized and controlled strategic strongholds of the ASG in Barangay Baguindan Proper at Hill 440 (Kawilan Hill).

The combined assault from the Special Forces, other elite counter terrorism units, and Light Armor Cavalry Troops, with support from massive artillery fires, forced the Abu Sayyaf bandits to abandon their stronghold which is fortified with seven foxholes, 12 bunkers capable of accommodating at least 80 people.

The 4th Special Forces Battalion commander Lt. Col. Andrew Bacala Jr. said the troops effectively earned the trust of the local populace to support ongoing military operations utilizing the elite 12-man team to conduct mass base operations and harness popular support.

He added that the Special Forces troops became effective in its operations with the help of the local government units from the municipalities of Al-Barka, Akbar, Tuburan, Maluso, Lantawan and Hadji Mutamad.

He also cited reports on the ASG’s diminishing supplies surfaced as communities refuted the bandits of resources and rally their support to the government troops after the Special Forces units were deployed.

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