Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman for Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said the Joint Task Force Sulu would not cease its operations even as it successfully neutralized several bandits in recent clashes.
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No Lenten ceasefirewith Abu Sayyaf — AFP
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - April 15, 2019 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The military yesterday vowed to continue its operations against the Abu Sayyaf bandit group in Sulu during the Holy Week. 

Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman for Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said the Joint Task Force Sulu would not cease its operations even as it successfully neutralized several bandits in recent clashes.

Last Thursday, 12 bandits were killed and several others were wounded in a series of attacks launched by the military in Patikul town.

Army troopers initially clashed with 120 followers of Abu Sayyaf leaders Radullan Sahiron and Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan in Sitio Taming, Barangay Panglayahan.

The series of encounters followed when the bandits splintered into several groups.

Pursuing soldiers caught up with the bandits in the remote village of Kabbon Takas.

Troopers recovered a pair of night vision goggles, makeshift tents, water gallons and sacks of rice at the scene of the clashes.

Five Army Scout Rangers were wounded during the encounters, Besana said.

He said separate forces would be deployed to secure the local government units during the Lenten break.

Earlier, Westmincom chief Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega said the military would intensify its operations against criminal elements in Sulu.

ABU SAYYAF HOLY WEEK JOINT TASK FORCE SULU
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