The Philippines has deployed some 7,000 troops to go after the terror group Abu Sayyaf in the southern province of Sulu.
The move came in the wake of an ambush that left 15 soldiers, including an officer, dead and 10 others wounded on Aug. 29.
Army Lt. Gen. Eduardo Ano said the government would deploy more troops “within a few days.”
“The target is to destroy the Abu Sayyaf in the soonest possible time,” said the general.
Military spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said the number of soldiers currently in Sulu is the largest deployment against the terror group in recent history.
Abu Sayyaf has been blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council for having ties to al-Qaeda.
The Philippine military estimates Abu Sayyaf has about 300 to 400 men, mostly in Basilan and Sulu provinces in Mindanao.