Soldiers seize Sayyaf boat, firearms in Sulu

Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2021 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Army soldiers foiled what was believed to be a plan of the Abu Sayyaf bandit group to launch kidnapping activities, after they seized a boat and firearms in Indanan, Sulu on Monday, security officials said.

Troopers of the Army’s 4th Special Forces Company and military intelligence unit launched a pursuit operation for Injimar Mangkabong, said to be the leader of the Abu Sayyaf kidnapping group, and his members in Barangay Malimbaya.

“The team, led by 1/Lt. Joemar Bongcac, reached the target area in Sitio Andihi at around 2 p.m., but the bandits must have sensed their arrival and escaped,” Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, chief of the Joint Task Force Sulu and the Army’s 11th Infantry Division said.

The team recovered a speedboat, grenade launcher, ammunition, grenade, seven phones and personal belongings.

“A kidnapping was foiled. This means no food and no ammunition for the bandits,” Gonzales said.

He attributed the success of the operation to information provided by the residents.

“Relentless military operations restricted the movement of the terrorists, forcing some of its members to surrender,” Gonzales said, referring to the 17 Abu Sayyaf bandits who surrendered to the military over the weekend.

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