PH military counts 55 Sayyaf men killed in 9 months
MANILA, Philippines—The military on Tuesday (Oct. 6) declared progress in its fight to wipe out Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), saying at least 55 members of the homegrown terror group had been killed in the last nine months.
In September alone, 15 members of ASG, which now has ties with Islamic State (IS), had been killed in targeted military operations in Western Mindanao, according to Capt. Jonathan Zata, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs chief.
The AFP also reported the surrender of 78 ASG members in Eastern and Western Mindanao from January to September this year.
A total of six suspected ASG members had been arrested since the start of this year. The military also seized 97 high-powered and other firearms, seven improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and nine camps, Zata said.
Aside from ASG followers, at least 28 members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a group of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members, had been killed, the military said. At least 134 other BIFF members had surrendered while 20 had been captured since January this year.
Twenty-four members of the Maute Group were killed, while 15 surrendered and five were arrested, Zata said. Several firearms, explosives and encampments were seized. The Maute Group and ASG plotted the takeover of Marawi City by IS.
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