Troops hunt down ISIS, Abu terrorists

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - First Page -

SECURITY FORCES MOUNTED a massive operation against the Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippine province of Sulu following the killing of 3 suicide bombers - two of them foreigners – in Indanan town.

Officials said the trio was in a vehicle on their way to the capital town of Jolo when intercepte­d last week by soldiers who put up a roadblock in the village of Kan Islam in Indanan town after receiving intelligen­ce of the planned attacks.

The bombers opened fire on the soldiers and a firefight ensued killing all the terrorists, according to Army Lt. Col. Gerald Monfort, Joint a Task spokesman Force Sulu. for the The foreigners, he said were believed to be the husband and son of another suicide bomber who blew herself up near a military base in Indanan town on September 8.

The other bomber, a Filipino, was an Abu Sayyaf fighter.

“The terrorists, composed of two foreign

terrorists and one local ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) member, were about to carry-out their suicide bombing mission in Metro Jolo when they were neutralize­d by AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippine­s) during the implementa­tion of a military operation intended to apprehend foreign terrorists in Sulu,” Monfort said.

He said soldiers recovered a pair of explosive belts from the slain bombers, including a fragmentat­ion grenade and an automatic pistol.

“Recovered from the terrorists were one .45-caliber pistol with ammunition, one hand grenade, and two vests with explosives, and triggering devices identical to the vest used by the suicide bombers during the two IED (improvised explosive device) attacks in Tanjung in Indanan on June 28 and on September 8 of this year,’ Monfort said, adding, another Abu Sayyaf militant was captured and led troops to a hideout in Indanan where 16 more pipe bombs had been recovered.

Col. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the 1102nd Infantry Brigade, commended the soldiers in the slaying of the bombers.

“The hostile plan of the terrorists in Sulu could have caused tremendous casualties and could have tarnished the image of this country if not immediatel­y acted upon by our soldiers. Hence, I commend them for such patriotic act,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinulan, the task force commander, said security forces were hunting down other terrorists in Sulu and praised soldiers for their “superb planning and careful execution of their task to (attempt to) apprehend” the suicide bombers.

Vinluan said security forces were hunting down other terrorists in Sulu. “The AFP in Sulu will continue to hunt down all the remaining ASG members in Sulu,” he said.

The military has imposed high security alert in the restive region against possible retaliator­y attacks by pro-islamic State terror groups following killing of IS leader Abu Bakr al-baghdadi in a recent U.S. raid in Syria.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the Western Mindanao Command, said that at least 7 foreign terrorists who were affiliated with the IS are trying to embed in the local existing terror organizati­ons in southern Philippine­s.

He said the Abu Sayyaf is coddling the terrorists in Basilan and Sulu, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindana­o province.

President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly said in public that ISIS is the biggest security threat in the country. Authoritie­s have tagged the Abu Sayyaf, the BIFF and the Maute Group as terrorist groups with alleged links to the ISIS.

Foreign ISIS militants and a local recruit had killed themselves in suicide attacks in Basilan and Sulu. (Zamboanga Post)

A military convoy snakes into a busy road in Jolo town in Sulu province. (Al Jacinto)

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