By Amy R. Connolly
Some 5,000 Philippine soldiers have been deployed to the southern province of Sulu to track down the Islamist militant group Abu Sayyaf that beheaded two Canadian hostages and is threatening two others.
At least 10 military battalions from the Philippine marines, army, air force and navy are converging on Sulu from land, sea and air, Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said. Tan said the operation is not considered “wide scale” but will focus on areas known to back, the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf.
“We focus on areas known to be supportive of the Abu Sayyaf group. We will go to the communities known to provide refuge to bandits,” he said. “There are selected target areas. These bandits have relatives and they hide in the populace.” Read more