Abu Sayyaf abandons camp in Basilan

Roel Pareño - Philstar.com
Abu Sayyaf abandons camp in Basilan

 The military captured an Abu Sayyaf group camp in Basilan Friday after air and ground assaults to prevent the militants from providing refuge to terrorists who may have fled fighting in Marawi in Lanao del Sur. STAR/File

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The military captured an Abu Sayyaf group camp in Basilan Friday after air and ground assaults to prevent the militants from providing refuge to terrorists who may have fled fighting in Marawi in Lanao del Sur.

Col. Juvymax Uy, Joint Task Force Basilan (JTFB), said soldiers from the 4th Special Forces Battalion under Lt. Col. Andrew Bacala captured the Abu Sayyaf lair at the border of Ungkaya Pukan town.

Uy said followers of Abu Sayyaf sub-leaders Furuji Indama and Radzmil Janatul retreated and abandoned their camp with heavy casualties.

The government forces launched heavy artillery and air strikes Thursday followed by an assault by ground troops.

Bacala said troops found 42 makeshift huts in the abandoned camp. He said blood stains and remains littered the camp, an indication of heavy casualties from the Abu Sayyaf group.

The soldiers also recovered four high-powered firearms, four sacks of rice, solar panels, and improvised bomb components.

Uy said the troops also recovered personal items and documents believed to be from a Vietnamese captive.

It will be recalled that troops rescued Hoang Vo, one of the six Vietnamese sailors abducted last November off Sibagu Island, on Thursday.

Uy said offensive operations continue as part of security measures to preempt the return of Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon's fighters from Marawi City.

Hapilon, the designated emir of the Islamic State-inspired terror group, led the siege of Marawi on May 23 with the Maute local terror group in its attempt to establish its caliphate.

Uy said they are checking reports that some militants have managed to leave Marawi despite police and military units in the besieged city.

“The Joint Task Forces are doing their best to address this concerns, acting jointly with coordination to prevent them in going back,” Uy said.

Uy said the military also has a strong coordinative mechanism with local government units leading the fight against the Abu Sayyaf group.

“In fact, the strong participation led to the surrender of close to 80 Abu Sayyaf members now in Basilan,” Uy added. 

vuukle comment
  • 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