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Abu Sayyaf suspected after coast guard beats off pirate attack



Abu Sayyaf are the prime suspects after an unsuccessful attack on a cargo ship yesterday

The Philippine coast guard have foiled an attempted pirate attack on a cargo vessel by suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists.

The attempted boarding yesterday (Tuesday, April 18) of the Doña Anabelle occurred off Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte about 50 miles to the north of the Sulu archipelago, the Islamic State-affiliated group’s stronghold.

Regional police chief Billy Beltran told the Inquirer that armed militants on two motorboats fired at the vessel off the village of Santa Maria.

Zamboanga Coast Guard Station Commander Alvin Dagale told the Philippine Sun Star that the attackers fled when military patrol vessels approached. None of the crew were injured, and the responders escorted the ship to Zamboanga City.

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Mr Beltran said that the affiliation of the attackers had not been fully confirmed, and investigations were continuing.

In recent years, Abu Sayyaf has made the waters between the Philippines and Malaysia among the most dangerous in the world for maritime piracy.

While its activities are usually focussed on the Sulu Archipelago, last week a group of terrorists mounted an unsuccessful kidnapping raid on the tourist island of Bohol, several hundred miles to the north.

The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia have announced joint naval patrols to suppress the group’s activities in the waters between Tawi Tawi and Sabah. Japan has offered to provide the Philippines with military advisors and pursuit boats, and President Duterte has even invited the Chinese navy and coast guard to help patrol the area.

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MORE ON ABU SAYYAF AND TERRORISM IN THE PHILIPPINES:

Duterte warns that he might “invade” Abu Sayyaf’s island stronghold
Abu Sayyaf planned mass kidnapping of tourists on Easter Sunday
Nine dead after Islamic-State linked terrorists storm tourist island

US Embassy warns that terror groups plan to kidnap tourists in Cebu and Bohol

Abu Sayyaf terrorists kill three militiamen, while others lay down arms

Couple suspected of Islamic State bomb plot arrested in Manila

Battle-hardened Islamic State fighters plan to regroup in southern Philippines

Australian foreign minister fears Islamic State is coming to the Philippines

Factsheet: The Abu Sayyaf terror group – who they are and what they do

“Now he kills me”: Last words of German beheaded by Abu Sayyaf

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Duterte says Abu Sayyaf ‘not criminals’, and blames US for terrorism

Islamic State plotting new terror stronghold in Mindanao

Islamic State chief seriously wounded as he plotted new lair for terrorists

UK jihadist who said bullet-proof boxer shorts were “snake protection” found guilty

Islamic State cash flows into Philippines disguised as OFW remittances