Troops seize Abu Sayyaf bomb factory in Basilan PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 14:19

Troops under the military’s Western Mindanao Command tracking down Abu Sayyaf gunmen who ambushed and killed six soldiers recently, have seized a factory of the militant group producing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Basilan.

The bomb factory was captured by soldiers led by the Army’s 104th Infantry Brigade while on pursuit operation against the Abu Sayyaf in Tipo-Tipo town, Basilan at midnight of Nov. 9.

The facility was reportedly operated by Abu Sayyaf leader Furuji Indama, said Capt. Rowena Muyuela, Western Mindanao Command spokesperson, on Tuesday.

“This was supported by the Basilan local officials who called for the conduct of security and law enforcement operations against the ASG bandits after the recent killing of six soldiers in Sumisip, Basilan,” she added.

Muyuela said the main intent of the operations is to allay fears of civilians and local officials in view of the series of atrocities, kidnappings and extortion activities committed by Indama’s group.

It may be recalled that security operations have been and are still being undertaken to pave the way for the completion of the Basilan Circumferential Road as well as to enable livelihood projects intended for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro National Liberation Front communities to be delivered.

“These operations also show the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police commitment to the people of Basilan to have lasting peace and development in the island province,” she said.

The slain soldiers were providing security to workers of a Saudi-assisted road project in Sumisip when the Abu Sayyaf gunmen ambushed them.

The mayors of 11 towns and one city of Basilan, through a manifesto, have requested the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf bandits, citing they are “threat to peace, security and development of our beloved province.”

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Mujiv Hataman handed the manifesto to AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. when the latter visited the Westmincom headquarters last week.

The ARMM and the national government have allocated several multimillion-peso projects in Basilan.