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AFP, MILF join forces to hunt down new terror group in Mindanao

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 12:23 AM August 29, 2013

Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, AFP chief. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has confirmed that “rogue elements” from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Mindanao have formed a new group of terrorists in Mindanao.

Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, AFP chief, disclosed that members of the Khalifa Islamiyah Mindanao (KIM) were among the suspects in the bomb attack in a commercial district in Cagayan de Oro City last month, which left eight people dead and scores other wounded.

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Bautista’s statement was the first time the military confirmed the presence of the group since the police tagged it in the Cagayan de Oro explosion.

“Its members came from different groups, including some from Abu Sayyaf… This is a very small group,” Bautista said in a forum of the Manila Overseas Press Club on Tuesday night.

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“They are spoilers (of the peace process in Mindanao). Some of them were rogue elements of the MILF. They formerly belonged to the MILF,” he told reporters after the forum.

Since Monday, he said MILF members had been helping soldiers in a joint operation to hunt down the group in Central Mindanao where KIM members were reportedly seen.

“We are now pursuing them. They are mostly from Central Mindanao,” he said.

“We have operations on going jointly with the MILF to scour the areas in Mindanao, like in Mt. Kararao complex for instance, to search for possible areas of the terrorist group… They are moving around.”

Bautista stressed that as of Wednesday, there were no indications yet that KIM members had reached Metro Manila to sow terror.

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TAGS: abu sayyaf, Abu Sayyaf bandits, Acts of terror, Armed conflict, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bombing, Crime, Khalifa Islamiyah Mindanao, KIM, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, pursuit operations, Regions
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