2 troops killed in Abu Sayyaf ambush

Ambush comes days after President Duterte told troops that peace talk efforts would not include Daesh-linked militant group

2 troops killed in Abu Sayyaf ambush

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Philippines military confirmed Sunday that at least two soldiers were killed and two others injured in an ambush by suspected members of a ISIL-linked militant group in the troubled southern island province of Sulu.

Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said in a statement that the intelligence personnel were ambushed by the Abu Sayyaf in Patikul town.

According to a report from the Sulu provincial police office, the four soldiers were headed for the capital Jolo on two motorcycles when gunmen opened fire with rifles.

The latest attack on the military in Sulu occurred a few days after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered troops to intensify operations against the Abu Sayyaf to “finish them to the last man”.

Duterte, who has made overtures toward a communist insurgency and indigenous Moro rebel groups in the Muslim south, was quoted by Philstar online as saying Friday that there would be no let up in the fight against the Abu Sayyaf.

“There will never be any peace negotiation. You have to destroy them [the Abu Sayyaf],” he told troops at a military camp in central Cebu City, underlining that he had no tolerance for the group, which is notorious for kidnap-for-ransom activities and beheadings.

Duterte has been visiting military camps countrywide over the weekend in an effort to boost morale and explain his administration’s plans to talk peace with the Communist Party of the Philippines as well as the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Earlier this year, the Abu Sayyaf beheaded two Canadian hostages after ransoms failed to be paid. It has threatened to decapitate a Norwegian captured with them in September if a P300-million ($6 million) ransom demand is not met.

Since 1991, the group -- armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles -- has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortion in a self-determined fight for an independent province in the Philippines.

The Abu Sayyaf is among two militant groups in the Philippines south who have pledged allegiance to ISIL, prompting fears during the stalling of a peace process that ISIL could make inroads in a region torn by decades of armed conflict.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ağustos 2016, 13:11