AFP seizes two Abu Sayyaf camps in Sulu
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine military on Sunday claimed to have seized two freshly abandoned Abu Sayyaf camps in Sulu days after the release of its German captives.
Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc, Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office chief, said the camps were located in the villages of Buhanginan and Kabuntakas in Patikul town.
The first camp in Buhanginan, found at about 3p.m. on Sunday, was about 100 meters and had 47 bunkers. The second one in Kabuntakas can accommodate 100 people.
“It appears na dun [tinago ang hostages],” Cabunoc said.
“The German kidnap victims were released near the abandoned Abu Sayyaf camp in Buhanginan village,” he added.
He assured that the tracking operations against the Abu Sayyaf will continue.
Colonel Allan Arrojado, Commander of Joint Task Group Sulu, said that the camp was abandoned three days ago. War materials were also recovered.
They seized three pairs of combat boots, empty cartridges of different calibers, military uniforms, magazine pouches and civilian clothes.
No firefight ensued, Arrojado said.
On Friday evening, the Abu Sayyaf released the two German captives held for six months after it claimed to have received P250 million worth of ransom. The Philippine government and military insisted no ransom was paid.
After the release, AFP chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. ordered a “full-scale” law enforcement operation against the group.
The militant group is still holding several other foreign and local hostages in parts of Mindanao.
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