Civilian killed in Abu Sayyaf attack in Sulu – military

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 6) — A resident of Patikul, Sulu was killed after suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf fired at a group of civilians on Monday, authorities said.

The attack is seen as a response to Patikul residents’ declaration of the Abu Sayyaf group as persona non grata in their town, which has been a known lair of the local terrorists.

Lt. Col. Alaric Delos Santos, spokesperson of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, told CNN Philippines on Tuesday that the Abu Sayyaf shot at a group of civilians harvesting their farm products in Barangay Igasan in Patikul.

Tali Lakibul, a member of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team, was killed while the others were unharmed, Delos Santos said.

“It was a ‘desperate’ move by the local terrorists because they don't have food to eat because they already lost the support of the local populace, and basically, they were demoralized,” Delos Santos said in a text message.

In August, Patikul residents led by Mayor Kabir Hayudini signed a People’s Peace Covenant denouncing the Abu Sayyaf. The extremist group, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, is notorious for kidnap-for-ransom activities and the beheading some of its hostages.

Government troops are currently conducting hot pursuit operations against the Abu Sayyaf.