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MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has congratulated the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for its “very successful” recent operation against Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah forces even as the AFP itself has not shown proof of the involved terrorists’ death.
Gazmin referred to the AFP’s “carefully planned precision attack” that supposedly led to the deaths of 15 known terrorists.
“The deaths of Abu Sayyaf leader Gumbali Jumdail; and Malaysian national Zulkipil Abdul Hir and Singaporean national Mumamda Ali, both belonging to the Jemaah Islamiyah, effectively decapitate these regional terror groups from pursuing the reign of terror,” Gazmin said in a statement.
Last Friday, February 3, however, the AFP admitted it has not yet seen the bodies of the terrorists they reportedly killed. But “they are confirmed to be dead,” AFP spokesperson Col Arnulfo Burgos has said.
Even Malaysian authorities want DNA proof that Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifli bin Abdul is indeed dead.
Nevertheless, Gazmin said the operation was a response to “calls for justice against these groups (that) mercilessly killed civilians and members of your Armed Forces.” He added: “Our troops demonstrated the effectiveness of a cunning and intelligent operation to weed out these terror elements.”
The defense chief also noted the zero casualties from among AFP ranks. “These types of operations (achieve) the goals of seeking justice without the risks of higher casualties in a protracted and expanded area of operation,” he said. – Rappler.com