Armed Forces to block Abu Sayyaf from fleeing Sulu
KOTA BARU: The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) will work with the security forces of the Philippines and Indonesia to foil attempts by Abu Sayyaf militants from escaping from Sulu where they are being hunted by Philippine troops.
Chief of Defence Forces Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said Malaysia would follow up to the Philippine deployment of 5,000 troops in Sulu to hunt down the Abu Sayyaf militants who beheaded two Canadian hostages in the past two months after failing to be paid a ransom.
“We will act early to thwart any attempt by the Abu Sayyaf militants to escape. Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will work together closely in this endeavour.
“We have deployed assets of the MAF, Royal Malaysia Police and Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to conduct joint operations,” he told reporters after attending a breaking of fast with the 8th Infantry Brigade at Desa Kok Lanas Camp here last night.
Zulkifeli said Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was expected to meet his Indonesian and Philippine counterparts soon to discuss cooperation in patrolling the Sulawesi and Sulu seas.
He said one of Malaysia’s proposals would be to emulate the patrol model currently in use in the Straits of Malacca.
The Philippines announced yesterday that at least 5,000 troops had been deployed in Sulu to hunt down the Abu Sayyaf militants, who beheaded Canadian kidnap victim Robert Hall on Monday, two months after another Canadian, John Ridsdel, was beheaded.
Abu Sayyaf are still holding a Filipina, Maritess Flor, and a Norwegian, Kjartan Sekkingstad, who were kidnapped with the two Canadians from an exclusive marina in the city of Samal, Davao del Norte, in September last year.
Last week, the Abu Sayyaf freed four Malaysian sailors from Sarawak who had been kidnapped on April 1 off the coast of Sabah.
Philippines has time and again failed to vanquish the Abu Sayyaf as there are people in the military and civilian protecting the terrorists. Therefore he Philippines military should team up with the Malaysian and Indonesian military in a joint direct attack against the Abu Sayyaf group. As long as this group is around - we can be sure there are going to be more attacks, kidnappings on our soil and on Indonesian land as well!