2 Abu Sayyaf camps in Sulu seized

2 Abu Sayyaf camps in Sulu seized
An undated photo of Abu Sayyaf militants distributed by private terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group on September 23, 2014.

MANILA - The military on Sunday seized two Abu Sayyaf camps as it continued its pursuit of the bandit group in Patikul, Sulu.

Col. Allan Arrojado, commander of Joint Task Group Sulu, said the 32nd Infantry Battalion cleared two temporary encampments of the bandits in Patikul.

He described the facilities as temporary encampments where the Abu Sayyaf might have slept during breaks from their getaway from the law.

"They can sleep there, it's not really a permanent camp with fences, but temporary ones," the official said on Sunday.

A day before, the military engaged the Abu Sayyaf twice as it launched air strikes and ground attacks in Patikul where the bandits were believed to have holed up.

The military is still verifying intelligence reports of reported enemy casualties during Saturday's attack.

Arrojado vowed no let up in their pursuit of the Abu Sayyaf and that they would hunt them down non-stop.

"We are cautiously entering their lairs. They are now on the run," he said, noting that they have not received reports of sightings of the 10 remaining hostages with the Abu Sayyaf.

On Saturday, the military's attack helicopters fired rocket rounds at an encampment in Barangay (village) Bungkaong, Patikul in Sulu where Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Adjan Sawadjaan and his men were reportedly holed up.

The bandits retreated into the mountains of Mt. Sinumaan to escape the attack. Arrojado said the military has been concentrating on the area to pursue the bandits.

Saturday's offensive was the first clash between the military and the Abu Sayyaf group since the release of two German nationals held hostage by the bandits.

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