Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants attacked government positions on Saturday, May 25, leading to eight deaths and wounding 14 others in Sulu province, according to a military statement on Sunday, May 26. The jihadist group launched an assault on government troops in Patikul (Sulu province) around 17:35 on Saturday, leading to an intense firefight. Two children and six alleged terrorists were killed in the fighting, according to the statement. At least 14 others were wounded, including five soldiers and two civilians. A heightened security presence and possible violence are likely in the coming weeks. Similar Abu Sayyaf attacks targeting security forces are likely in the Sulu archipelago over the near term.
Abu Sayyaf is an Islamic State (IS)-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.
Individuals in Sulu province, and in the southern Philippines more generally, are advised to monitor 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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