At least seven suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants were killed in an encounter in Sulu Sea near Sulare Island in Parang (Sulu province) on Tuesday, November 3. Security forces conducted an offensive against the militant group who were reportedly planning to conduct kidnapping activities in mainland Mindanao. Reports indicate that the Joint Task Force Sulu intercepted members of the ASG who were on board a speedboat at approximately 02:15 (local time). Exchanges of fire ensued for 25 minutes which resulted in the sinking of the ASG members' speedboat. Security forces are reportedly conducting search and retrieval operations using air and naval assets in the area.
Further security operations are expected in the area over the near term.
Abu Sayyaf is an Islamic State (IS)-affiliated jihadist militant group primarily operating in the southern Philippines. It is notorious for kidnapping people for ransom, especially in southwestern Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.
Those in Sulu province are advised to monitor developments, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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