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by  |  28-Jan-2018 14:56

Consequently, being on the social or political division line, Basilan, Jolo and Sulu have seen some of the fiercest fighting between government troops and the Muslim separatist group Abu Sayyaf through the early 1990s.

The Abu Sayyaf primarily operates in the southern Philippines with members travelling to Manila and other provinces in the country.

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He then worked to consolidate his leadership of the Abu Sayyaf, causing the group to appear inactive for a period.

After Janjalani's leadership was secured, the Abu Sayyaf began a new strategy, as they proceeded to take hostages.

A defector from Abu Sayyaf told Filipino authorities, "The IIRO was behind the construction of Mosques, school buildings and other livelihood projects" but only "in areas penetrated, highly influenced and controlled by the Abu Sayyaf." According to the defector "Only 10 to 30% of the foreign funding goes to the legitimate relief and livelihood projects and the rest go to terrorist operations".

By 1995 Abu Sayyaf was active in large scale bombings and attacks in the Philippines.

The group is considered violent, Several hundred United States soldiers were stationed in the area to mainly train local forces in counter-terror and counter-guerrilla operations, but, as a status of forces agreement and under Philippine law, they were not allowed to engage in direct combat.

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