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Navy activates operational group to track down Sayyaf

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Navy has activated its operational group to track down the terrorist Abu Sayyaf following the surge in kidnappings perpetrated by militants in southern Philippines, a military official said yesterday.

Apart from tracking down the Abu Sayyaf bandits, the group will also monitor the possible movement of Islamic State jihadists in Mindanao, Rear Admiral Reynaldo Yoma, commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said.

Police and military intelligence officials have not confirmed the existence of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant in the country but reports said the Abu Sayyaf and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters had pledged allegiance to the IS.

Yoma said they are monitoring IS-related activities in the region to make them better prepared to respond to security threat.

He added the Western Mindanao Command formed last week the joint ZamBaSulTa (Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu) task group to focus on the kidnapping activities of the Abu Sayyaf.

Yoma said additional troops from Luzon will be deployed in Mindanao to augment the forces under the activated task group.

ABU SAYYAF

ABU SAYYAF AND BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS

BASILAN

ISLAMIC STATE

ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND LEVANT

MINDANAO

NAVAL FORCES WESTERN MINDANAO

PHILIPPINE NAVY

REAR ADMIRAL REYNALDO YOMA

WESTERN MINDANAO COMMAND

YOMA

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