MANILA, Philippines - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has deployed its air assets in Sulu in support of the campaign against the Abu Sayyaf.
Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, AFP-Public Affairs Office chief, said helicopter gunships are ready for action as ground troops hunt for the bandits headed by Radullan Sahiron, who kidnapped German couple Stefan Victor Okonek and Herike Deiken.
Cabunoc said patrol gunboats are also on standby for a naval blockade.
“This is to prevent their escape and deny them of any outside help,” he said.
He said members of the Negros-based 1st Scout Ranger battalion were also redeployed in Sulu to serve as reinforcement.
“The Scout Rangers pulled out from their anti-insurgency duties in Negros Island to help crush the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu. They are adept in reconnaissance and sniper operations. They will play a vital role in tracking the bandits,” Cabunoc said.
Sulu Army island commander, Col. Allan Arrojado said there would be no letup in the campaign against the Abu Sayyaf even during the holidays.
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