Abu Sayyaf in Sulu splits up to evade military
Roel Pareño (Philstar.com) - October 6, 2016 - 3:32pm
LAMITAN CITY, BASILAN, Philippines -- The Abu Sayyaf Group has splintered into smaller factions to focus on mobile tactics after being chased out of a base in this province by military offensives.
Col. Cirilo Donato, commander of the 104th Infantry Brigade, said the 200-member Abu Sayyaf group that used to occupy a camp in Barangay Baguindan as a base of operations against Tipo-Tipo town, fled last month because of the military operations.
Donato said the Abu Sayyaf group led by Isnilon Hapilon suffered close to 50 dead and several wounded during its occupation last month.
Hapilon and his group are known to have pledged allegiance to the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and vowed to establish a caliphate in Basilan.
Donato said that Hapilon's group prevented the villagers from visiting their farms. Residents would only be allowed to go if they agree to join the Abu Sayyaf.
Residents reported the harassment, which prompted the military and the local government to launch the offensive against the militants.
“They have lessons learned from holding a camp, so they decided to break up and [are]now mobile so they will not be cornered,” Donato said.
Donato said about 100 Abu Sayyaf militants are believed to be hiding in the jungle of Sumisip near Sampinit Complex.
He said the Abu Sayyaf group is also believed to be low on ammunition.
The military is trying to trace the Abu Sayyaf's supplier of guns and bullets.
“We hope to cut that line of supply,” Donato said.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with