At least five soldiers were killed and 23 more wounded on Saturday, November 17, during a military operation against Abu Sayyaf militants on the island of Jolo (Sulu province). According to a military spokesperson, the soldiers were ambushed while on an operation to locate hostages held by Abu Sayyaf. Similar clashes between Abu Sayyaf militants and security forces are possible in Sulu province in the near term.
Abu Sayyaf is a jihadist militant group, affiliated with the Islamic State (IS), that is active in the southwestern Philippines. It is notorious for kidnapping people for ransom, especially in southwestern Mindanao and in the Sulu Archipelago.
Individuals in the Philippines, and particularly those in Sulu province, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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