The Navy of the Phillipines and the Royal Australian Navy performed a round of military exercises Tuesday against piracy and terrorist groups in waters close to Sabah. Rene Medina, Commander of the Navy Forces of the west of Mindanao, Phillipine, said that patrol ships HMAS BROOME and HMAS LAUNCESTON from Australia arrived in the port of Zamboanga Monday for the exercises that will last three weeks. The exercises will take place at the waters of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, close to the border with Sabah, an area in which security is in a critical condition because of piracy and the kidnappings carried out by the group Aby Sayyaf -a regional associate of extremist organization Islamic State (ISIS)-. The first round of the joint military exercises was in October 2017, and is a part of the anti-piracy and antiterrorist campaign fostered by the government of President Rodrigo Duterte to stop the threatenting to security in the islands of Mindanao. In March 2016, the Phillipines, Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to establish joint patrols in the Sea of Jolo, a zone in which Aby Sayyaf has kidnapped several Indonesian and Malaysian sailors. A total of 22 incidents of this kind were registered last year, more than twice the number of maritime incidents in 2016. Source : Prensa Latina
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