ZAMBOANGA CITY–Government troops have overran two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) encamp-ments, including one that serves as improvised bomb factory, in the hinterlands of Basilan province, military officials announced Monday.
Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said the troops captured the two ASG encampments on Sunday, a day after they launched an offensive against the Abu Sayyaf bandits.
Galvez said the camps located in Barangay Ma-ngalut in the town of Akbar belong to the group of Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf leader Nurhassan Jamiri.
He said the troops have recovered several im-provised explosive devices (IEDs) and bomb-making components from the two fallen ASG camps.
Col. Juvymax Uy, Joint Task Force Basilan com-mander, said they launched the offensive starting Satur-day following intelligence report on the presence of the ASG bomb-making factory in the area.
Uy said five Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed in the ensuing firefight when the troops swooped down the ASG camps.
He disclosed the ban-dits plan to stage bombings in the cities of Isabela and Lamitan, the two growth areas in Basilan province.
He said the troops are pursuing the Abu Sayyaf bandits who fled to the Barangays Buton and Se-ronggon in nearby munici-pality of Mohammad Ajul.
“Our Joint Task Forces are committed in intensi-fying the offensives to neutralize the remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits, who are on the run now. This operational accomplish-ment is attributed to our soldiers on the ground who made this possible,” Galvez said. TPGJR/PNA