Anti-sayyafs ops continue
THE PHILIPPINE ARMY said operations against the Abu Sayyaf continues in the Muslim autonomous region, particularly in Basilan and Sulu provinces where the notorious terror group is actively operating.
Just last week, members of the 14th Infantry Battalion captured Pauji Asgari in Talipao town after villagers tipped off the military on the presence of Abu Sayyaf fighters in the area.
Troops seized Asgari’s assault rifle, ammunition and electric cords, including a marine camouflage, his cell phone and motorcycle, according to Brigadier General Arnel dela Vega, the commander of anti-terror Joint Task Force Sulu.
“The success of the apprehension is due to the cooperation of local residents,” he said.
Dela Vega said members of the Abu Sayyaf have been trying to blend with civilian communities to avoid detection and capture by security forces.
He said Asgari was handed over to the police after being interrogated at a military base in the capital town of Jolo. But details of the interrogation report were not made available by Dela Vega, however, he said: “The relentless combat operation will continue until we deal a crippling blow against the Abu Sayyaf and until all hostages are rescued.”
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding about a dozen Malaysian and Indonesian hostages in Sulu, one of 5 provinces under the restive Muslim autonomous region.
The military also killed recently a captured Abu Sayyaf member Ustab Anji after he allegedly grabbed the weapon of one of his guards in the village of Magsagaw in Panglima Sugala town in Tawi-tawi province, also in the autonomous region.
Troops were on their way to the police headquarters to handover Anji when he grabbed the firearm of the soldier. Anji was involved in the kidnappings this year of Indonesian and Malaysian sailors in Sabah, Malaysia. He was also tagged as among those who kidnapped 21 mostly European holidaymakers also in Sabah, Malaysia in 2000 and had a P350,000 bounty on his head.
Last month, troops also killed two notorious Abu Sayyaf militants Nixon Muktadil and his brother Brown Muktadil who were both tagged as behind cross-border kidnappings in Sabah.
The brothers were killed during a military raid on Tambulian Island off Sulu’s Pata town. The two men were behind the kidnappings of at least 26 Indonesian and Malaysian nationals, mostly crew members of slowmoving tugboats in Sabah near the Filipino border of Tawi-tawi.
2 members of the 16th Infantry Batallion pay their courtesy to Maimbung Municipal Mayor Samier Tan in Sulu province recently.