Duterte tightens the screws on Mindanao extremists

Neighbors on alert to keep Islamic State-linked militants from spilling out

JUN ENDO and TAKASHI NAKANO

MANILA/SINGAPORE As the Philippine military enters the final stretch of its mission to liberate the city of Marawi from Islamist rebels, the challenge for President Rodrigo Duterte is to prevent the violence from spilling beyond the southern island of Mindanao.

Duterte visited battle-worn soldiers for the fourth time on Sept. 11, pledging his continued support for the military’s efforts to retake the city in a conflict that has claimed some 870 lives.

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U.N. seeks to rally foreign backing for new Libyan peace plan

Aidan Lewis

TUNIS (Reuters) – The United Nations is seeking to marshal international support this week for a new push to break a political stalemate in Libya and end the turmoil that followed the country’s 2011 uprising.

The world body’s Libya envoy, Ghassan Salame, is expected to set out an “action plan” on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Wednesday that will propose amending a 2015 peace deal that quickly stalled.

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Source: https://www.reuters.com/

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Esscom on alert as Philippine military makes final push in Marawi city

The heavy offensive by Philippine security forces that includes airstrikes raises the possibility that militants will flee to the east coast of Sabah.

KOTA KINABALU: The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) will remain on alert against the heightened risk of militants fleeing to the state as Philippine forces step up efforts to capture the last strongholds of Daesh-affiliated groups in Marawi city, southern Philippines.

The Philippine military is pushing to free the last small sections of the city still under the militants as the fighting enters the final phase.

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Yemen’s Houthi leader says could target Saudi oil tankers if Hodeidah attacked

DUBAI (Reuters) – Yemen’s Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said on Thursday his group could target Saudi oil tankers should Saudi Arabia attack Yemen’s main port at Hodeidah.

“We could target Saudi oil tankers and we could do anything,” he said.

In a televised speech, the leader also said his group’s ballistic missiles were capable of reaching the United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi and anywhere inside Saudi Arabia.

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Source: http://www.reuters.com/

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Esscom welcomes opening of sea borders to hunt criminals

The opening of Philippine, Malaysia and Indonesia borders will allow security forces to enter each other’s waters while in hot pursuit of criminal elements.

KOTA KINABALU: The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) has welcomed the Philippines’ invitation to Malaysia and Indonesia to open each other’s borders in the fight against cross-border criminals and militants.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last week was reported as saying he would discuss the possibility of creating a task force to combat Islamic State-linked militancy with its two neighbouring nations.

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Of 59 people kidnapped from boats off Sabah, 15 still being held captive

No new abduction cases have been reported since April 17, says a maritime piracy information sharing centre.

KOTA KINABALU: Fifteen people are still being held captive after they were kidnapped from their boats in the waters off Sabah’s east coast, a piracy information sharing centre has revealed.

According to statistics provided by the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, (ReCAAP), the 15 were from 59 people kidnapped since March 16 last year.

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US air strikes ‘kill’ militants in Somalia

The US has killed six members of militant Islamist group al-Shabab in three air strikes in southern Somalia, the US Africa Command has said.

The operation was carried under new powers given to US forces by President Donald Trump in March, allowing for “lethal action” against the al-Qaeda affiliate.

Mr Trump designated some areas of Somalia as active war zones, meaning US forces required less high-level vetting to carry out strikes against the militants, US-based Newsweek magazine reported.

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ISIS Recruits Fighters for the Philippines

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A video released by ISIS asks would-be fighters to go to the Philippines instead of Syria and Iraq, the latest sign that the terror group is shifting its recruiting tactics as it loses ground to coalition forces in the Middle East.

The seven-minute, English-language video, released by the official ISIS media operation late last month, includes messages from several fighters in the Southern Philippines, and scenes from battles with government troops near the city of Marawi, including the pillaging of a Catholic church.

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Dusk-to-dawn curfew extended to Sept 27 in ESSZone waters

KOTA KINABALU: The dusk-to-dawn curfew in the waters off seven districts under the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone), which was scheduled to end at 6pm yesterday, has been extended to Sept 27, said Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din.

He said the curfew, from 6pm to 6am, covered the waters off the districts of Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

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Source: http://www.theborneopost.com/

Saudi-led coalition destroys Houthi boat for planting naval mines

Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has destroyed a boat with engineers on board who were planning to plant naval mines, Sabq local news reported on Monday.

The military boat of Houthi militias was trying to enter sea areas under the control of the Yemeni national forces in the Red Sea west Yemen, a source confirmed to the online portal.

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Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/