Since January of last year, troops from the Philippines have been trailing and trying to track down Islamic state leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan. While patrolling in Patikul, Philippine troops came in contact with 40 heavily armed Abu Sayyaf militants which caused an hour long firefight. This firefight resulted in 11 of the Philippine troops to be killed in action. It is unknown if Mr. Sawadjaan was with the militants during the firefight, but General Arevalo stated that the search for him will go on even during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some geographical concepts to note is that this happened in the Philippines which is in Southeast Asia. Patikul, where the troops patrolled, is a jungle-dense island in the extreme southern province of Sulu. Sulu is one of the islands that make up the Sulu Archipelago and it is surrounded by the Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea. Abu Sayyaf is an extremist group that pledges their allegiance to the Islamic state (ISIS).