ZAMBOANGA CITY – Military and police teams have seized a firearm and explosives abandoned by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan province, a top military official said Saturday.
Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Wetmincom) chief, said the firearm and explosives were seized Friday while the troops were on a security operation targeting an ASG member in Sitio Oval, Barangay Tipo-Tipo Proper in Tipo-Tipo.
Rosario said the target of the security operation, Tawakil Bayali alias Jaber, immediately fled upon sensing the arrival of the troops in the area.
Seized were an M-79 grenade launcher, one 40-millimeter white phosphorous ammunition, two rifle grenades, three fragmentary grenades, and 72 rounds of caliber .30 ammunition.
Rosario said 39th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team personnel went to the area, recovered the explosives, and brought them to the 18th Infantry Battalion headquarters for proper disposition.
“We are intensifying our intelligence operations to track down the remaining ASG members,” Rosario said.
“We are also strengthening our collaboration with our partners from the PNP (Philippine National Police) and other security agencies to ensure the successful conduct of law enforcement operations,” he added. (PNA)