World Bulletin / News Desk
Nearly 150 ISIL-linked terrorists have been killed in the all-out offensives launched by government troops since January this year in the country's troubled south.
In a statement on Wednesday, Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command, confirmed the deaths of 149 Abu Sayyaf militants in Sulu and neighboring provinces.
Since January, he said, 50 Abu Sayyaf members also surrendered to the security forces, adding that 18 others were apprehended and 70 high-powered firearms were recovered in the operations.
Galvez said he ordered troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu to flush out the Abu Sayyaf from their comfort zones and bring them to places where they are vulnerable.
Meanwhile, Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesperson of Western Mindanao Command, said two militants were killed in a 15-minute gun battle with troops at Patikul hill in Sulu province Tuesday night.
"We're able to recover the remains of the two terrorists who are still yet to be identified," Petinglay said.
Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf -- 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.
It is one of two militant groups in the south who have pledged allegiance to ISIL, prompting fears during the stalling of a peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that it could make inroads in a region torn by decades of armed conflict.Last Mod: 17 Mayıs 2017, 16:19