Results tagged “Philippines”
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Government soldiers clashed with Abu Sayyaf militants in the mountains on Sulu during a raid on a camp in Talipao where some 300 militants were reportedly based. At least 14 Abu Sayyaf fighters and five soldiers were killed, and 26 soldiers were wounded in the hours-long gun battle. A group of 50 Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters attacked army positions in Barangay Kabasala on Mindanao, forcing 100 civilians to flee the area; one BIFF member and two civilians were killed in the clash.
President Aquino urged the armed forces to crush the extremist group Abu Sayyaf and bring its members to justice; he estimated that the group consists of 200 members and at least 200 additional followers. Abu Sayyaf fighters ambushed Philippine troops who were guarding a road project yesterday in Basilan, killing six of them and reportedly seizing weapons.
President Aquino said the Philippines will refuse "impossible or unclear" UN missions, after the UN refused Philippine peacekeeping troops' requests for more weapons to fight off al Qaeda militants in the Golan area along the Syrian border and ordered the Philippine troops to surrender to secure the release of kidnapped Fijian peacekeepers. Military and intelligence sources said that wanted terrorist Zulkifli bin Abdul Hir a.k.a. Marwan, a Malaysian, is among those actively recruiting for the Islamic State in Mindanao, and that he is joined by Jemaah Islamiyah members Mawiyah, Quaim, and Abu Saad, and a Saudi named Abdurahman. Officials said they are having trouble arresting Moro National Liberation Front chairman Nur Misuari, who is wanted for crimes in September 2013 that killed over 200 people, as he is surrounded by armed followers in Sulu. The military is thinking of trying to rescue two German hostages held by an Abu Sayyaf splinter group.
Immigration authorities said they plan to send extremist cleric Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips back to Canada; Philips, who is banned from United States, Britain, Australia, Kenya, and Bangladesh, was detained by authorities in Davao a few days ago as he presented a security threat. Intelligence officials said they are monitoring the movement of Philippine jihadists to and from Syria and Iraq, and noted that their numbers are increasing.
The US Embassy warned Americans to avoid travel to Sulu and the Mindanao archipelago due to the activities of al Qaeda-linked groups such as Abu Sayyaf. Reports have emerged that elements of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Abu Sayyaf, including wanted leader Isnilon Hapilon, have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State. Wanted Abu Sayyaf leader Mobin Hailil a.k.a. Apo Kahumbo was arrested on firearms charges; he is suspected of facilitating the transfer of kidnapping victims from Sabah to Jolo. Three kidnapping victims who were seized two weeks ago were freed in Marawi city. Abu Sayyaf kidnapped a midwife in Sulu.
Security forces arrested two Abu Sayyaf militants, including alleged sub-leader Nur Hassan a.k.a. Jemhar Halillula Ali, during raids in Zamboanga city. A public school supervisor who was kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf in January was released after payment of a ransom.
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) militants conducted simultaneous attacks against security forces in Datu Piang in Maguindanao. Authorities looked into reports that a German couple kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf may be captive on a southern island. Captured Abu Sayyaf commander Khair Mundos has told authorities that he met last year in Maguindanao with Marwan a.k.a. Zulfikli bin Hir, a top Malaysian terrorist suspect who was reportedly killed in 2012; the meeting at a BIFF camp also included a Singaporean militant, Muhamda Ali a.k.a. Muawiyah, and another militant, Amin Baco, said to be a Malaysian. On Aug. 6, the military said that bin Hir, a top Jemaah Islamiyah leader also wanted by the US, is alive and in Mindanao. A group called Ansar al-Khalifah in the Philippines, from southern Mindanao, issued a video announcing its allegiance to the Islamic State.
A group of Abu Sayyaf fighters led by Idang Susukan and Sibih Pisih ambushed two buses in Talipao in Sulu that were carrying 50 people celebrating Eid al-Fitr, killing at least 16, most of them women. The Western Mindanao counterterrorism force said the 10 policemen escorting the civilians were probably the real targets of the attack; a search for the attackers has begun. Abu Sayyaf released a kidnapped construction worker. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front accused the military of violating the ceasefire in MILF areas in Maguindanao province, but the military said its operations were actually against Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in areas close to those held by MILF. President Aquino vowed that reforms would be carried out even if he is killed by a bomb.