Philippine gov't forces 'neutralize' 47 terrorists

 19 Mar 2017 - 12:56

Philippine gov't forces 'neutralize' 47 terrorists
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ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines: Government forces have 'neutralized' 47 terrorists including foreigners in a series of military operations in the troubled south, according to the military.

The Western Mindanao Command said on Sunday troops delivered a crippling blow against foreign and local terrorists in a series and purposive operations from March 13 to 16 in Central Mindanao.

Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, WesMincom spokesperson, said air and ground operations were launched against Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters led to the neutralization of 47 local and foreign terrorists.She said troops have also recovered five improvised explosive devices IED and numerous IED components in Barangay Tee, Datu Salibo, Maguindanao.Brig. Gen. Arnel dela Vega reported that 21 terrorists were killed and 26 were wounded in a series of air strikes and ground combat operations he directed.

"The deployment of blocking forces proved effective in preventing the terrorists from escaping the mass offensives," he said.

The offensives were to hit the group of Muhammad Ali Bin Abdulrahman, a.k.a Muawiyah, a foreign terrorist; Salahuddin Hassan, a local terrorist and bomber trained by the latter, and Esmael Abdulmalik, a. k. a. Abu Toraype, the Dawlah Islamiyah Maguindanao founder and a BIFF brigade commander.

Military tagged Abdulrahman as a negotiator for the Abu Sayyaf group and known as a "dangerous" operative of the Jemaah Islamiyah, according to GMA news.Dela Vega said these misfits were cohorts of the foreign terrorist Marwan, the target of the SAF PNP operations in January 2016, and are responsible for the series of bombing incidents in Mindanao.

Their group is also conducting IED training among newly recruited members from different provinces including those from the Maute group, with test missions that target NGCP power towers, public areas, and conveyances.

Petinglay said that also reported killed in the air and ground assaults were Salahuddin Hassan, a local terrorist and bomber trained by Abdulrahman and Esmael Abdulmalik alias Abu Toraype, a brigade commander of the BIFF.

The military tagged Abdulrahman and the two local terrorists and cohorts of terror suspect Marwan, who had been confirmed killed by Special Action Force elite troopers in Mamasapano town on January 2016.