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Abu Sayyaf kidnap victim survived 6-month ordeal by praying, says paper

After two years of captivity by Abu Sayyaf militants, Swiss bird watcher Lorenzo Vinceguerra escaped while Philippine troops fired rounds into the Abu Sayyaf camp in Patikul on Sulu. During the clash, Vinceguerra killed one of his captors, militant subcommander Juhurim Hussien, and was wounded by militant gunfire. In pursuit, Philippine troops later killed five Abu Sayyaf militants in Talipao on Sulu. Abu Sayyaf militants on Sulu are thought to be still holding more than 10 hostages.

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.

AQAP official calls on rival factions in Syria to unite against West

Nasser bin Ali al Ansi, an AQAP leader, is featured in a new video calling on rival jihadists in Iraq and Syria to unite against their common enemies. Al Ansi says the jihadists should form a "coalition" to strike America.

Abu Sayyaf Group threatens to kill German hostages

Islamists in Philippines threaten to kill German hostages

Philippines military investigates Islamic State oath-taking in Marawi City

Who's who in coalition to defeat Islamic State

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.

How Philippine UN troops defied orders, opened fire and escaped the Al Nusrah Front

Jihadist-related arrests across Europe, Asia

Philippine Bill Would Set Up Autonomous Region in Muslim-Dominated South

The Islamic State's global reach

Filipino force defied UN commander in Golan crisis

Syrian army, Al Nusrah Front fight on Golan where peacekeepers held

Fiji seeks release of UN peacekeepers abducted on Syrian side of Golan Heights, as Philippines soldiers escape

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.