- Title: PHILIPPINES: GOVERNMEMT TROOPS ON JOLO INTENSIFY OPERATIONS AGAINST MUSLIM REBELS
- Date: 23rd August 2002
- Summary: (W3) JOLO, PHILIPPINES (AUGUST 23, 2002) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. CU/GV: MILITARY CHECKPOINT TO JOLO (3 SHOTS) 0.29 2. GV: SOLDIERS WALKING TOWARDS WOODS 0.36 3. GV/CU: AMMUNITION (2 SHOTS) 0.46 4. MV: SOLDIERS SITTING 0.48 5. GV: HELICOPTER 0.56 6. GV/CU: ARMED FORCES CHIEF OF STAFF GENERAL ROY CIMATU ARRIVING IN JOLO AIRPORT; WELCOME SIGN TO JOLO AIRPORT; CIMATU GREETING TROOPS AT TACTICAL OPERATIONS CENTRE (4 SHOTS) 1.21 7. GV/CU: (SOUNDBITE) (English) GENERAL ROY CIMATU SAYING: "We'd like to emphasize that we're putting more muscle into this operation, intensified operation against the leadership of the Abu Sayyaf who are now cornered in Indanan in Maimbong. We have four Infantry Battalion in this operation." (2 SHOTS) 1.59 8. GV/PAN: REPORTERS IN NEWS BRIEFING 2.07 9. MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIMATU SAYING: "We expected a lot of disinformation since day one, from the time we announced that Abu Sabaya is dead. For the record, Abu Sabaya is dead and he will not rise again." 2.20 10. CU/GV/MV: VARIOUS OF JOLO TOWN (3 SHOTS) 2.37 11. MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (English) YUSUF JIKIRI, JOLO GOVERNOR SAYING: "The one responsible for getting the hostages is Muhib Sahiron, he is a relative of Radullan and the confirmed report is that this is a bandit group." 3.01 12. GV/GV/PAN: SOLDIERS DEPLOYED IN JOLO TOWN (2 SHOTS) 3.11 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 7th September 2002 13:00
- Location: JOLO, PHILIPPINES
- Country: Philippines
- Reuters ID: LVACWFAQNV98PDQ528RP8ZQRB6E
- Story Text: Philippine troops have shelled a stronghold of Muslim
fighters linked to Osama bin Laden, hitting back after gunmen
beheaded two Christian preachers, officials and residents
The military plans to give civilian officials time to
negotiate the release of four women still held captive,
military chief General Roy Cimatu told reporters on Friday
"We'd like to emphasize that were putting more muscle
into this operation, intensified operation against the
leadership of the Abu Sayyaf who are now cornered in Indanan
in Maimbong. We have four Infantry Battalion in this
operation," Cimatu said.
More than 1,000 reinforcements, including a crack company
of U.S.-trained Light Reaction soldiers, are being sent to the
remote island of Jolo, a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf rebel
group, Cimatu told reporters while on a visit there.
But troops will not launch a major operation for five days
to allow negotiators to secure the release of the four
Christian women, he said, adding that reinforcements of a
battalion each of marines and scout rangers, or about 1,000
men, would arrive on Jolo later in the day.
The Light Reaction Company was being flown in also on
Friday, Cimatu said.
Troops already on Jolo have fanned out across the rugged,
Muslim-dominated island, but there were no reports of
sightings of the Abu Sayyaf or of their captives.
Residents fled areas of the island where the military
launched mortar attacks on Thursday, Governor Yusop Jikiri,
the top civilian official on the island, told reporters.
There were no casualties in the shelling around the town
of Patikul, the area where a gang of armed men led by the
nephew of an Abu Sayyaf commander abducted eight people on
The military also denied reports that the Abu Sayyaf's
most visible leader, Abu Sabaya, was alive. Officials have
said Sabaya was killed in a clash in June.
A well-known Christian priest, Father Cirilo Nacorda, told
the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper that Sabaya was seen
by residents on the island of Basilan, which, along with Jolo,
is a notorious Abu Sayyaf stronghold.
The reported killing of Sabaya was one of the major
successes of the military's campaign against the Abu Sayyaf,
which claims to be fighting for an independent homeland in the
south of the Roman Catholic Philippines but is mainly engaged
in kidnap for ransom.
The United States has linked the group to the al Qaeda
network of Osama bin Laden, held responsible for the September
11 attacks on New York and Washington, and sent hundreds of
its troops to the Philippines to train the military.
U.S. forces formally ended their training at the end of
July, and the Abu Sayyaf appeared to be on the retreat but the
rebels have hit back this week, reminding authorities that
they are still a threat and sending shivers through local
The rebels abducted eight people, including six Jehovah's
Witnesses, after dragging them out of a minibus. They released
two Muslim guides from the group and beheaded two men among
The victims' heads, wrapped in plastic, were found in a
market in the main town of Jolo, 960 km (600 miles) south of
There is no word on the fate of the women.
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