PH Army to deploy more troops to fight terrorists in Sulu

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MANILA – The Philippine army will deploy an additional 4,500 troops next year in the islands of Sulu in the southwest to fight terrorists, a Philippine lawmaker said on Sunday (Sept. 5).

Johnny Pimentel, chairperson of the strategic intelligence committee in the House of Representatives, said the Department of National Defense will be spending P929 million ($18.62 million) next year in deploying “a whole new Philippine army division to the Sulu archipelago.”

The army will put into operation an entire division of 4,500 soldiers in the municipality of Jolo in Sulu province, Pimentel said in a statement. The division will be dedicated to fighting ISIS-affiliated terrorist groups and will have operational responsibility over the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, Pimentel added.

Jolo is the base for the Abu Sayyaf militant group, which has recently become notoriously known for criminal brutality, kidnaping-for-ransom activities, bombings, and beheadings in western Mindanao, particularly in their lair in the island provinces of Basilan and Sulu.

In August 2020, insurgents affiliated with the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group detonated two bombs in Jolo downtown, killing 14 people and wounding 75 others.

In January 2019, Jolo Cathedral was bombed during a mass, killing 21 people and wounding over 100 others. (Xinhua)

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