KOTA BARU: The Malaysian Armed Forces will work with the security forces of the Philippines and Indonesia to foil attempts by Abu Sayyaf militants hunted by Philippine troops from escaping from Sulu, said Chief of Defence Forces Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin (pic).
This was a follow-up to the Philippine deployment of 5,000 troops in Sulu to hunt down the Abu Sayyaf militants who had beheaded two Canadian hostages in the past two months after failing to get their demanded ransom, he said.
"We will act early to thwart any attempt by the Abu Sayyaf militants to escape. Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will work together closely in this endeavour.
"We have deployed assets of the MAF, Royal Malaysia Police and Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency to conduct joint operations," he told reporters after attending a breaking of fast with the 8th Infantry Brigade personnel at the Desa Kok Lanas Camp here Friday night.
Kok Lanas state assemblyman Datuk Md Alwi Che Ahmad, Kelantan Federal Development Department director Datuk Makhtar Mustapha and 2nd Infantry Division commander Datuk Fadzil Mokhtar were also present.
On Friday, at least 5,000 Philippine troops were deployed in Sulu to hunt down the Abu Sayyaf militants who beheaded the two Canadians.
Last Monday, Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded Canadian Robert Hall after their demand for ransom was refused. On April 25, they beheaded another Canadian hostage, John Ridsdel.
They are still holding Filipina Maritess Flor and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad. Ridsdel, Hall, Flor and Sekkingstad were kidnapped in an exclusive marina in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte on Sept 21, 2015.
On June 8, the Abu Sayyaf freed four Malaysian sailors from Sarawak who were kidnapped on April 1 off the coast of Sabah.
Meanwhile, Zulkifeli said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein was expected to meet his Indonesian and Philippine counterparts soon to discuss cooperation in patrols in the Sulawesi and Sulu seas.
He said one of Malaysia's proposals would be to emulate the patrol model currently in use in the Malacca Strait. - Bernama
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