The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has so far killed 28 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists and forced the surrender of 29 and arrested four others during intense military operations from January 1 to June 18 this year.
In a statement late Saturday, the AFP also reported it seized 41 high-powered firearms and seven improvised explosive devices from the terrorists aside from capturing eight of their hideouts.
“The success of our operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group can be attributed to the strong support of the national leadership, interagency cooperation, and the soldiers’ high state of morale. The AFP will sustain this momentum against the terror group so that once and for all, peace and development will be genuinely felt by our people,” AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr. said.
Among recent accomplishments was the capture of an ASG bomber by joint AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) troops in Zamboanga on June 18. Terrorist Kahar Indama was among those behind the 2007 Batasan complex bombing that killed two and injured seven civilians.
He was also involved in deadly attacks on government troops in the province. Also notable was the surrender of an ASG Imam and two other members in Patikul, Sulu on June 17. They brought along one Garand rifle and surrendered to the forward operating base of the 45th Infantry Battalion under the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom).
The Westmincom also reported that six ASG members surrendered to government forces in Luuk, Sulu on June 16. The former terrorists yielded to the 4th Marine Brigade in Barangay Tandu Bato.
Meanwhile, members of the 6th Special Forces Battalion killed two Abu Sayyaf militants on June 5 following an intense firefight with 40 ASG members in Patikul, Sulu.
However, four Army troops were killed and seven others wounded during the June 5 operation.
“Although the accomplishments came with the unfortunate loss from the government side, the AFP will not stop in performing all-out offensives against the terrorists Abu Sayyaf Group and bring justice to their countless acts of violence against our people and the state,” Santos said. (Priam Nepomuceno, PNA)