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Sayyafs raid Basilan army post despite ongoing military ops

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Despite continued military operations against the pro-ISIS group Abu Sayyaf in the restive southern province of Basilan, armed fighters attacked an army post and killed a government militia, reports said Monday.

The weekend raid which occurred in Sumisip town also wounded four Muslim villagers, two of them children. The raiders fled after the attack.

The Western Mindanao Command did not release a report of the attack, but Abu Sayyaf commander Pasil Bayali had been largely blamed by the police for the raid.

Just last week, dozens of former Abu Sayyaf militants who surrendered to authorities in recent years, graduated from a one-year Alternative Learning System launched by the Department Education in the Muslim province.

Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman said the former militants surrendered in Basilan after the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao – which he was the governor – launched the Program Against Violent Extremism or PAVE in a bid to combat terrorism and promote peace in the five provinces under it.

PAVE is the regional government’s first model program in providing various interventions to former Abu Sayyaf members who surrendered to the government, and their families.

There are almost 300 surrendered Abu Sayyaf fighters in Basilan, some may have records to clear before the court, but all of them are giving their respective shares to help the local government in ensuring peace and ending the more two decades of Abu Sayyaf existence in Basilan, according to Hataman. (Zamboanga Post)


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