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28 Abu Sayyaf surrender since January

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ANOTHER MEMBER of the Abu Sayyaf Group surrendered to the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) in Sulu last May 1, bringing the total to 28 since intensified military operations after the Jan. 27 bombing of a Catholic church in the island province’s capital. The latest who surrendered was identified as Omar S. Mastamud, alias Abu Kompor, who was based in Basilan. He also turned over his M16A1 to the military. A WestMinCom report from Jan. 1 to April 30 show that the 28 Abu Sayyaf members who turned themselves in were part of the 263 individuals who have been “neutralized.” The others were members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Daulah Islamiyah, and the communist New People’s Army. The military has also recovered from them 120 firearms. Lt. Gen. Arnel B. Dela Vega, WestMinCom commander said, “The Western Mindanao Command continuously provide support programs to those who have decided to return to the folds of the law.” — Tajallih S. Basman

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