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Trilateral sea patrols take aim at Southeast Asian terror

Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines alliance could seed regionwide collaboration

Indonesian navy special forces involved in the trilateral patrol. (Photo by Bobby Nugroho)

TARAKAN, Indonesia -- Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are launching joint patrols to counter the rising threat of terrorism in regional waters as a growing number of fishermen and seamen fall victims to kidnappings by groups inspired by the Islamic State. 

The three countries on Monday began joint patrols in waters where they share maritime borders, particularly the Sulu Sea off the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. While their forces will monitor for suspicious vessels by sea and by air, troops from each country will take charge of land patrols in their own territories in light of sovereignty concerns. The patrols will continue until terrorism has been eradicated from the three countries' environs, according to Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu.

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