Westmincom to focus on Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

Roel Pareño

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The new leadership of the military’s Western Mindanao Command will rest the weight of its campaign in Sulu, considered among the remaining problem areas in Mindanao, its outgoing commander Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega said.

Dela Vega, who opted for early retirement from the service, will be replaced by Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana in a change of command ceremony on Friday.

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Source: philstar.com

Abus release 9 hostages

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Abu Sayyaf gunmen released nine hostages after finding that they were Bajau fishermen who had no money to pay for their ransom, Malaysian and Philippine officials said on Saturday.

The military said the nine men were found walking along a road in Talipao, Sulu, on Friday, three days after they were abducted in waters off Lahad Datu in Borneo on June 18.

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Source: globalnation.inquirer.net

Abus snatch, kill retired gov’t employee in Sulu

Roel Pareño

ZAMBOANGA CITY , Philippines  —  Suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits killed a retired government employee they seized in Patikul, Sulu on Sunday. 

The bandits also reportedly ransacked the house of Kirah Tiblan in Sitio Lingon Gitung, Barangay Igasan before setting it on fire.

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Source: philstar.com

Another Marine battalion to be deployed in Sulu

Jaime Laude

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Marines Corps (PMC) is sending another battalion to Sulu to help in the operations against Abu Sayyaf bandits in the province and nearby areas.

Capt. Felix Serapio Jr., PMC spokesman, said the 8th Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT-8) is ready for deployment in Sulu after a nine-month training in Manila.

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Source: philstar.com

Fmr Abu Sayyaf hostage blames Dutch man’s death on lack of gov’t effort

By Janene Pieters

Ewold Horn‘s death in the Philippines can be blamed on the Dutch government, according to Warren Rodwell from Australia, a former hostage of terrorist movement Abu Sayyaf. The fact that the 54-year-old Dutch man was still a hostage of Abu Sayyaf after seven years shows that the Dutch government did not put enough effort into getting him released, Rodwell said to Dagblad van het Noorden.

Horn was abducted by members of Abu Sayyaf during a bird watching trip on the Philippine islands in 2012. He was shot dead on Friday when he tried to escape during a firefight between the terrorist group and Philippine government forces. 

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Source: nltimes.nl

Dutch hostage killed while trying to escape from militants in Philippines

MANILA (Reuters) – A Dutch photographer held hostage by Islamic State-linked militants in the Philippines since 2012 was killed on Friday by his captors when he tried to escape during a firefight on a remote southern island, the military said.

Ewold Horn, a wildlife photographer, was shot by his guards from the Abu Sayyaf group when he tried to flee during a clash between government troops and the militants, said Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo, commander of a Joint Task Force on Sulu island.

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Source: reuters.com

Maritime Security News: You may recall that only ten days ago, a Philippine National Police commander had claimed that Horn had joined the group. More here:

Duterte issues travel warning for Zamboanga

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday urged tourists not to travel to Zamboanga for now as he raised the atrocities committed by the Abu Sayyaf against foreigners.

Duterte gave the statement at the 7th Union Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Pasay City which was attended by health experts in the region.

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Source: gmanetwork.com