The number of soldiers who were killed in the clashes against the Abu Sayyaf terror group rose to 15 men as of August 30, 2016. There are at least two ongoing clashes in the island of Sulu where the core group of bandits is currently located in the area. As the battle continues, the death toll is now being feared to escalate due to the continued armed conflicts with the bandits in the affected areas. While dozens are now injured, the numbers will also rise in the Sulu island on the western part of Mindanao.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines has been waging an ongoing battle against the terror group as ordered by the President Rodrigo Duterte until they will all be pulverized. Duterte believes that the Abu Sayyaf can be exterminated in just one or two weeks. But the battle against the ISIS sympathizers will continue for weeks because the total numbers of the group are also presumed to be larger than 300 due to new recruits by the bandits. The test of strength and perseverance will now apply to the members and officials of AFP as they aim to contain the bandits in the remote parts of Sulu island.
|AFP is now clashing against the ISIS terror group Abu Sayyaf
President Rodrigo Duterte lost patience with the Abu Sayyaf after the group beheaded its 18-year-old teenager hostage. Patrick James Almodovar was abducted on July 25, 2016. A video surfaced by the members of Abu Sayyaf, showing Patrick James pleading for help by paying 1 Million pesos to the abductors, which was set on August 25, 2016. However, only 100,000 was only raised by the families, prompting the group to behead the young teenager. Duterte's wants to prevent similar issues that can happen in the future.
After the beheading of a teen hostage, in which the severed head was found in Sulu, this was already the boiling point for the president to declare an all out war to completely destroy the terror group. The AFP has been set to deploy thousands of troops to Sulu and its nearby islands to ensure that the terror group will be completely neutralized. The Armed Forces of the Philippines in cooperation with the Philippine National Police will now coordinate to contain the terrorist groups in the affected islands off-the-coast of Western Mindanao.
The terror group remains to dwell in the mountanous areas of the ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) region. They were known not only roam the island of Sulu but also to other islands such as Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, and penetrating to the western part of Mindanao Island to persistently bring terror to communities.
The Abu Sayyaf still holds several local and international hostages. There are at least 10 remaining hostages that were being held by the captives in Sulu. One is the Norwegian foreign hostage who was abducted in Samal island in the resort along with a Filipina and two other foreign nationals who were previously beheaded earlier this day.
The terror group has been known to capitalize abduction and demand for ransom from its captives. This is the best way for the group to acquire a sufficient amount of money so that they could purchase firearms to have an ample supply for their defense. Apart from purchasing firearms, the money will also be used to acquire basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing.
ISIS recently recognized Hapilon as the leader of the Abu Sayyaf who will officially lead the ISIS franchise in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao. The group is also threatening the family of James Patrick Almodovar to abduct another family member and will perform similar terroristic practices.