Bombing scene in Phuket (Source: EPA/VNA) 
Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – A Malaysian anti-terrorism expert has urged ASEAN to stand united in the fight against terrorism because terror groups have become a common threat to the region.

Associate Professor Aruna Gopinath, desk officer on Southeast Asian Studies at the Centre for Defence and International Security Studies of the Pertahanan Malaysia National University, said ASEAN should confront Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines and the self-claimed Islamic State as a unified force.

A united stand is important especially against Abu Sayyaf, which has been recognised by the Islamic State as “a caliphate in the region”, she said.

According to her, ASEAN has to decide whether there is a need for a military offensive against Abu Sayyaf because it is going everywhere from Thailand to Singapore and its next move is unknown.-VNA