309 Abu Sayyaf terrorists neutralized in 2018: AFP

Military operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group have resulted in the neutralization of 309 terrorists from January 1 to December 26 this year, an official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.

The figure is broken down into 201 surrendered terrorists, 76 killed, and 32 arrested, AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said late Thursday, when asked for an update on the terrorist group.

Of those who surrendered, 74 were from Basilan, 120 from Sulu, four from Tawi-Tawi, and three from Zamboanga del Sur.

Military units were also able to recover 207 high-powered firearms and 30 low-powered ones from January 1 to December 26. Also seized were 13 improvised explosive devices and 11 terrorist camps.

Earlier, AFP Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal said efforts to neutralize the terror threat will continue.

“We’ll also keep up the pace of diminishing the existence of terrorist cells and other armed peace spoilers so we can protect our people and insulate our community from their clout of fear,” Madrigal said.

This, he said, is being done with the ongoing anti-violent extremism initiatives being supported by concerned agencies and the Muslim communities. (PNA/Priam Nepomuceno)