Philippine military to build counterterrorism training complex

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/11/29 20:36:33

The Philippine military will build a "counterterrorism training complex" inside an army camp in Nueva Ecija, a province north of Manila, an army spokesman said on Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Ray Tiongson, the military spokesman said the complex will be put up in Fort Magsaysay to improve the skills of soldiers, especially the army's Light Reaction Regiment, on urban warfare counterterrorism strategy and tactics.

The sprawling Fort Magsaysay is home to the army's special operations command and to the army's 7th infantry division.

The project is estimated to cost 55.63 million pesos (1.1 million US dollars), according to Tiongson.

Tiongson said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has no training area that is specifically designed to hone the soldiers' skills on urban counterterrorism warfare.

He expressed hope that the facility "will enhance the military's operations on urban terrain and other operations in the urban setting like hostage rescue operations."

The military was caught flat-footed when pro-Islamic State (IS) extremists raided the southern Philippines city of Marawi in May.

It took the military more than five months to retake the city from militants who made use of the city's buildings and houses as fortresses to hide from government security forces.

The war in the Marawi city claimed the lives of some 1,100 people, displaced thousands of residents and left the city in ruins.


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