Naval Blockade in Sulu Areas to Prevent Abu Sayyaf Reinforcement

MANILA – Philippine Navy (PN) units are now blocking strategic areas of Sulu to prevent Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) sympathizers from resupplying and reinforcing their beleaguered comrades in the island.

AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo in a press briefing Monday.

“While not sufficiently large to support (all its commitment) it has sufficient assets to (carry out) the operation,” he added.

PN units are also tasked to prevent ASG terrorists from escaping from their Sulu enclaves which are now under heavy military pressure.

During Monday’s briefing, Arevalo said a total of 481 ASG bandits are in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

However, they do not have exact figures on the bandit group’s sympathizers, supporters or operatives recruited through dubious means.

25 ASG bandits killed in the ongoing focused military operations in Sulu along with an undetermined number of wounded. Military losses were set at 15 killed and 12 wounded.

Operations against the bandits started last Aug. 26 after the terrorists brutally beheaded 18-year-old Patrick Jhames Almodavar last Aug. 25.