AFP launches new assault as Abu Sayyaf gathering in Sulu being tracked
MANILA, Philippines — The military launched a new offensive on members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) on Friday, after it reportedly monitored a consolidation of terrorists in the hinterlands of Patikul, Sulu.
“Various military assets were employed together with the assaulting ground troops to attack the ASG lairs in Sulu at 6:40 a.m. The military assault early this morning was triggered by the monitored and confirmed consolidation of 200 terrorists in the hinterland of Patikul, Sulu,” said Joint Task Force Sulu spokesperson Lt. Col. Gerald Monfort.
The new assault came after they have received reports that ASG leaders Radulan Sahiron and Hajan Sawadjaan are planning to launch terror attacks.
“Selective aerial bombardment is still ongoing as of this report as the combined ground forces of the AFP are maneuvering for the final assault,” Monfort said.
The center of Jolo remained tightly guarded to prevent another similar terrorist attack in January and divert the military’s attention from its ongoing combat operations against the Abu Sayyaf, he added.
Twin explosions rocked Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Jolo in late January, leaving 21 killed and about a hundred injured.
“This military offensive is launched before they could carry out whatever terroristic action they are planning which I believe something big as they have consolidated such number of terrorists,” said Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo Jr. /muf
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