7 Abu Sayyaf members killed in Sulu: military

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 03 2020 03:46 PM | Updated as of Nov 03 2020 11:41 PM

7 Abu Sayyaf members killed in Sulu: military 1
Photo from Joint Task Force Sulu

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — State forces on Tuesday killed 7 members of Abu Sayyaf’s kidnapping group who were aboard a twin engine speed boat in Sulu sea near Sulare island in a gunfight that lasted nearly half an hour, the military said. 

The militants were reportedly under Mundi Sawadjaan and Radullan Sahiron, Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. said. 

The military's Joint Task Force Sulu released videos showing security forces exchanging fire with the bandits, leading to the extremists' deaths and the sinking of their speedboat.

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Courtesy of JTF Sulu

The military earlier identified Sawadjaan as the mastermind of the Aug. 24 twin bombings in Jolo town that killed 17 people, including two suspected suicide bombers, and injured over 70 others.

Among those also killed Tuesday was Sawadjaan’s brother, Madsmar, according to a military statement.

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“Exchanges of fire transpired which lasted for 25 minutes and resulted in the sinking of the boat utilized by more or less seven Abu Sayyaf Group’s members,” Vinluan said. 

He added that the slain men from the terror-linked group were planning to conduct kidnap activities in mainland Mindanao. The bandit group is known to be behind the abduction of both foreigners and locals in the area and even in neighboring Malaysia. 

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Courtesy of JTF Sulu

“This particular achievement is a result of our united efforts with the people of Sulu particularly our Tausug brothers in bringing lasting peace and development in the province of Sulu," Gonzales said. 

Retrieval operations of the sunken speed boat and the bodies of the slain militants are currently ongoing, he said. 

Navy retrieve sunken speedboat, ASG's equipment

The Philippine Navy, led by Commander Philip Edward Lamug, on Tuesday afternoon retrieved the sunken speedboat and recovered several weapons, but the bodies of the slain militants have yet to be found, the Navy said. 

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Philippine Navy/handout

Philippine Navy/handout

Philippine Navy/handout

Philippine Navy/handout

Philippine Navy/handout

So far, authorities recovered 2 M4 rifles with M203 grenade launcher, 1 M4A1 rifle, backpacks with M203 shells, ammunition and “other paraphernalia used in kidnapping,” the military statement read. 

"We hope that the bodies will reappear maybe about after a day or so but rest assured we will do everything in our power to retrieve all the equipment of the ASG, kahit masama yung panahon tuloy-tuloy ang Philippine Navy sa paghahanap sa mga bangkay ng mga Abu Sayyaf,” Lamug said. 

(Even if the weather was unfavorable, Philippine Navy will continue to look for the killed Abu Sayyaf members’ bodies.)