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AFP, MILF join forces to overrun Abu Sayyaf camp in Basilan


Government forces, assisted by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), captured an Abu Sayyaf camp in Al-Barka, Basilan, following a joint operation on Sunday.

The operation signalled cooperation between the two forces following years of armed conflict that ended with the March 2014 signing of a peace agreement between the government and the rebel group.

According to Maj. Filemon Tan of the Armed Forces' Western Mindanao Command, the MILF provided information regarding the Abu Sayyaf's camp located some five kilometers away from its community in Sitio Bohe in Barangay Macalang.

"They (MILF) don't want the Abu Sayyaf to loiter in the area," Tan said. "They are fed up with the presence of the ASG in the area."

Tan said one Abu Sayyaf member was killed following the assault that lasted for 20 minutes. An estimated 70 terrorists fled the camp.

The body of the slain terrorist was recovered along with eight improvised explosive devices during the clearing operations, Tan said.

On the government side, two members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team, which helped the soldiers and the MILF in the operation, were injured.

Tan said the operation was not the first time government troops and MILF forces fought side by side. "There were already instances in the past when they were with us [in combat operations]," he said. —KBK, GMA News