A suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf group was killed in a shootout with the military in Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu on Wednesday night, officials said.
The suspected bandit killed in the firefight was identified only as alias Sawi who was allegedly under the command of subleader Amah Patit, the military said.
"They were supposed to serve a warrant of arrest around 11:55 p.m. yesterday against ASG member Rudymar Habib Jihiiran alias Gulam when our troops under 1102 Infantry Brigade were shot at by him and his comrades. A firefight ensued, which resulted to the death of an alias Sawi," said 11th Infantry Division Commander Major General William Gonzales.
A backpack containing an electric blasting cap, a 12-inches long blue detonating cord , a pair of 9 volts battery and cellphones were recovered from his house, the military said.
Authorities said a minor, allegedly the daughter of Indonesian suicide bombers involved in the bombing of the Jolo Cathedral in 2019, was also rescued in the operation.
"Anak siya nina foreign terrorist Rullie Rian Zeke at Ulfa Handayani Saleh, 'yung suicide bombers sa Cathedral. Yung kapatid naman nito na si Rezky Fantasya Rullie alias Cici, naaresto sa isang raid sa Jolo noong October 2020. Doon kay Gulam at sa isa pang nakatakas ngayon, tuloy-tuloy ang pursuit operations," said Lieutenant Colonel Vicente Mabborang Jr., commander of the Philippine Army's 45th Infantry Battalion.
The minor is around 13 years old and allegedly married to a full-fledged ASG bandit. Her brother, meanwhile, is reportedly a member under the Daulah Islamiyah group.
“Per intel reports, she is being groomed as a suicide bomber. There is a risk here," Gonzales said.
Authorities said there were seven foreign terrorists in Sulu in 2019 but only two remain in the province - Indonesian Ahmad Ibrahim Rullie and an Egyptian, alias Abdurahman, who are both minors.
- Report from Leizel Lacastesantos
FROM THE ARCHIVES