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Abu Sayyaf abducts soldier in Sulu

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 4/21/2017 Parco, Bernadette
Indanan Sulu map © Provided by GMA News Online Indanan Sulu map

A soldier was abducted by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members on Thursday morning in Sulu province, according to the military.

The Western Mindanao Command identified the victim as Staff Sgt. Anni Siraji of the 32nd Infantry Battalion (32IB) under the Joint Task Force Sulu.

Siraji, a Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) integree, was abducted on Wednesday morning while he was on the road going to Igasan, Patikul in Sulu province.

The military condemned the act of the bandit group.

"It is frustrating that a Tausug soldier who wants a peaceful community and is working for it really hard so that an influx of progress will come in his home province, will have to be a victim of the bandits. Obviously, the Abu Sayyaf can victimize anyone, even someone from their own tribe," Western Mindanao Command Chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez said in a press statement.

"Therefore, we are calling on all the people of Sulu to join us in this fight. I firmly believe that as long as we are together on this, we will be able to disallow these bandits to continue creating havoc and fear to everyone," added Galvez. "For now, we will continue to hunt the perpetrators and the rest of the Abu Sayyaf. We will not stop until we get our soldier back to his family."

Pursuit operations are ongoing to rescue the kidnap victim.

"The recent abduction incident involving our soldier should not be a reason for us to back out but should further motivate us to continue our relentless and sustained focus military operations against the ASG and the rescue of all kidnap victims," says Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu.

Patikul, Sulu is one of the main target areas of the military offensives for three months now as it was reported to be a known stronghold of the bandits. — Anna Felicia Bajo/BAP, GMA News

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