Philippine troops closing in on terrorist group ASG

admin   •   September 22, 2016   •   3791


SULU, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is anticipating the right moment for the inevitable intense battle between the soldiers and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu.

Although the area seems to be quiet at the moment Westmincom spokesperson Major Felipe Tan, Jr., said, it doesn’t mean that no operation is going on.

“We are just waiting for the right time, the right moment to have a decisive engagement,” he said.

The AFP expressed that they are gradually penetrating the previous hideouts of the bandits.

This may indicate that the terror group are struggling and could explain why they have been freeing their captives.

He also said that the support given by the residents and local officials such as the formation of Barangay Peace Keeping Action Team against the offensives ASG, helped greatly.

As well as the additional forces deployed to Sulu to expand their operation.

Tan also said that the government forces are gaining ground with the placement of the troops in strategic locations where hostages can be rescued safely.

Battalions from different specializations like Scout Rangers, Special Forces of Navy Air Force and others are assigned to come after Abu Sayyaf in accordance to the “seek and destroy” order of President Rodrigo Duterte are estimated to have reached 16. (DANTE AMENTO / UNTV News and Rescue)

Abu Sayyaf kills Indonesian hostage in Sulu, AFP says

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – An Indonesian national believed to have been held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was found dead in Sulu, the military said Thursday.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said members of the Army’s 45th Infantry Battalion found the body of the Indonesian on Sept. 30 at Barangay Maligay in Patikul, Sulu during a pursuit operation.

The military said soldiers were tracking the ASG members after a clash when they stumbled upon the body. It was found at least 300 meters from the encounter site.

Reports gathered from the ground said the Indonesian was killed after he allegedly attempted to escape during the gunfight.

The AFP said the victim is one of the five Indonesian nationals held captive by the local terrorist group since January 2020.

The body has been brought to Zamboanga City for DNA testing and identification process. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

Facebook removes fake accounts allegedly linked to PH military, police

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 23, 2020

Facebook has removed over hundreds of fake accounts for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

In a statement, the social media giant said it removed 155 accounts; 11 Pages; 9 Groups and 6 Instagram accounts. These networks reportedly originated in China. It also removed 57 Facebook accounts; 31 Pages and 20 Instagram accounts where its networks originated in the Philippines and focused on domestic audiences.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, said these accounts and pages posted about local news and events including domestic politics, military activities against terrorism, pending anti-terrorism bill, criticism of communism, youth activists and opposition, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)and its military wing the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). 

“Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to Philippine military and Philippine police,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Wednesday (September 23) clarified that none of their maintained accounts were shutdown but is still looking into Facebook’s report.

“There are no accounts that the AFP maintain that were shutdown or removed by Facebook. All of them are up and running. The AFP upholds truth and accountability of network and SocMed account managers as to the contents of postings in our websites, pages, and accounts,” their statement reads. AAC

PH security forces foil bomb plot in Jolo, Sulu

Robie de Guzman   •   September 21, 2020

A bomb plot in the capital town of Jolo in Sulu province believed to have been orchestrated by local terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was foiled by the Philippine security forces, the military said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said, this is after the elements of the Philippine Coast Guard-Explosive and Ordnance Division (PCG) discovered a baggage that contained an improvised explosive device allegedly planted at the local port on Saturday.

The military added that a PCG patrol team found the abandoned baggage between the office of the Harbor Master and the Maritime Police Office at Jolo port.

A K9 unit deployed to the area confirmed that the baggage contained a bomb.

Operating troops of the 35th Infantry Battalion immediately cordoned off the area while the bomb squad carefully disarmed the explosive which was assembled using two electric blasting caps, a rifle grenade, a spark plug and concrete nails.

“I commend our troops and our partners for the accomplishment. You saved the lives of the innocent people and foiled this terroristic activity of our heartless enemies,” said Brig. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the anti-terror Joint Task Force Sulu.

AFP Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. also commended the troops.

“This success is a result of the intensified conduct of intelligence operations and the strengthened collaboration with the police and other security agencies, thus preempting the terrorists from executing their terror plan. I commend the troops of the JTF Sulu for a job well done,” he said.

The military said tight security measures remain in place as government troops continue to pursue ASG leader Mundi Sawadjaan who was said to the brains of the twin bomb attacks in Barangay Walled City in Jolo barely a month ago that killed 14 people and injured others. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)


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