MANILA, June 14 (Mabuhay) — The youngest brother of Mundi Sawadjaan, alleged brains of the 2020 Jolo twin blasts, was among the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members killed in a firefight with state forces in Sulu, the military said on Sunday.
The Joint Task Force – Sulu said Al-Al Sawadjaan, ASG sub-leader Injam Yadah, an ASG member identified only as alias Raup, and another unidentified ASG member died in Jolo before dawn on Sunday during a law enforcement operation that turned into a shootout.
“This transpired around 2:00am of June 13, 2021 when the combined elements of troops under Joint Task Force – Sulu and the PNP were to serve a warrant of arrest for sub-leader Yadah,” JTF-Sulu and 11th Infantry Division Commander Major General William Gonzales said.
“Our security forces were fired upon by the ASG terrorists as they were to enter the sub-leader’s residence in Brgy Alat, Jolo Sulu. We returned fire that resulted to the neutralization of four Abu Sayyafs,” he added.
Yadah, alias Raup and Sawadjaan died on the spot, the JTF-Sulu said.
The military added they recovered at the site an M653 carbine rifle, a caliber .45 pistol, improvised explosive device components and 15 mobile phones.
Yadah was involved in the kidnapping of Filipino and foreigners, Philippine Army 35th Infantry Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Wilfredo Borgonia said.
“Yadah played a key role in the kidnapping of five Indonesian nationals in Malaysian waters on January 2020. These are the kidnap victims rescued in Tawi-Tawi earlier this year. He was also involved in Dr. Moreno kidnapping in Jolo, Filipino-American Rex Triplett kidnapping in Zamboanga del Norte that both happened last year and the Tulawie kidnappings way back 2018,” Borgonia said.
Sawadjaan on the other hand was known to have knowledge in bomb-making. The military said he may have already made a pledge to be a suicide bomber.
“We’ve long been on the hunt for Yadah. He has a reputation of being extremely violent, beheading captured innocent civilians and security forces alike. Finally, his hideous acts will now come to a full stop,” Gonzales said.
The JTF-Sulu is doubling efforts to locate and catch Mundi Sawadjaan, he said.
“His brothers are now dead and we are optimistic that he will also be neutralized. When that day comes, we can say that we have achieved total peace in the province. The local government and people here is alongside us in this endeavor,” Gonzales said.
The Philippine Army earlier pointed to Mundi Sawadjaan as the mastermind in the August 2020 bombing attacks in Jolo, Sulu that left 15 people dead and over 70 others injured. (MNS)