Palace: ‘Unfortunate’ that 15 died in ops. vs Abu Sayyaf, but threat must be terminated

Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines carry the remains of the 15 soldiers at the Edwin Andrews Air Base in Zamboanga, Tuesday. The soldiers were killed in a clash with the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu. (MNS photo)

Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines carry the remains of the 15 soldiers at the Edwin Andrews Air Base in Zamboanga, Tuesday. The soldiers were killed in a clash with the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Aug 30 (Mabuhay) – A Palace spokesman on Tuesday said that although 15 soldiers were killed in separate clashes against the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu, the operations against the terrorist group will continue to be relentless.

“It is unfortunate that a number of our troops have already lost their lives. However, as [National Defense] Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on August 29, ‘We are going full force,’” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said during a press briefing in Malacañang.

Abella also reiterated Lorenzana’s revelation that five more battalions will be deployed to Sulu following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to intensify the campaign against the Abu Sayyaf.

“The President is focused in making sure that the threat against Abu Sayyaf should be terminated as soon as possible,” Abella explained.

The military earlier put the Abu Sayyaf casualties at 21.  (MNS)

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