Abu Sayyaf militants clashed with Philippine soldiers in Patikul (Sulu province) on Saturday, February 2. The clash reportedly came as Philippine military forces hunted for militants responsible for the January 27 Jolo cathedral bombing attack that killed at least 22 people. Saturday's fighting left five soldiers and three militants dead. Further military operations are expected in the coming days and weeks in Sulu province, particularly on Jolo Island.
A twin bombing at a cathedral in Jolo (Sulu province) killed at least 22 people and wounded more than 100 others on January 27. The bombing came days after residents in the southern Philippines, including Sulu, voted to create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), part of a peace process aimed at ending the conflict with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) militants.
Abu Sayyaf is an Islamic State-affiliated jihadist militant group operating primarily in the southern Philippines. The group's criminal and terrorist activities include kidnappings, bombings, and beheadings in western Mindanao. Its main theaters of activity are the island provinces of Basilan and Sulu.
Individuals in Sulu province are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and anticipate further military operations in the area.
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