Tawi-Tawi beefs up security vs possible entry of foreign fighters
The military and other local law enforcement agencies in Tawi-Tawi, the southernmost part of the Philippines, have stepped up its security in the waters off its borders and island municipalities following the arrest of three suspected Islamic State fighters in Sandakan, Malaysia last week.
“We have anticipated the possible movement of foreign fighters into the Philippines specifically Marawi City via the southern backside,” the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi said in a statement on Monday.
Team Tawi-Tawi – composed of local government units, the military and other law enforcement agencies – has stepped up security in the waters off the cross borders and island municipalities for the possible entry of foreign fighters.
The military earlier confirmed the presence of foreign fighters in the ongoing battle for Marawi.
The Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi said they have warned local government units down to the barangay level that not reporting to authorities of the presence of foreign fighters and coddling them will have grave consequences.
All assets have also been mobilized for intensified intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the cross borders.
Trilateral Maritime Patrol – a joint patrol of Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia designed for counter terrorism and other lawless activities – was also launched on Monday in Tarakan, Indonesia. JE
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