AFP: Slain kin of Abu Sayyaf leader was plotting suicide attack
MANILA, Philippines — Nanz Sawadjaan, an Abu Sayyaf fighter killed in a clash with the military in Patikul, Sulu, on Tuesday, was planning to stage a suicide attack.
“The neutralized ASG bandit is the younger brother of a Tausug bomb expert, Mundi Sawadjaan. According to reports, the younger Sawadjaan have signified to carry-out a suicide bombing in Sulu and is awaiting orders from the ASG hierarchy,” Joint Task Force Sulu Lt. Col. Gerard Monfort said in a statement Thursday.
Nanz, who was killed in an encounter with troops from the 41st Infantry Battalion, turned out to be a nephew of Hatib Sawadjaan, the reported leader of the Islamic State in the Philippines. It was earlier reported that he was a brother of Hatib.
Monfort said that Nanz was one of the two suicide bombers being hunted down in Sulu. Earlier, Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said a five-member team had been tasked by Hatib to carry out the suicide attacks.
The team included a foreigner and Norman Lasuca, the first known Filipino suicide bomber, who blew themselves off at the gate of a military camp in Sulu last June.
On Sunday, a Caucasian-looking woman carried out a suicide bombing attack outside a military detachment also in Sulu.
With the death of Nanz, this means only one of the five suicide bombers remained at large.
“The neutralization of the volunteer suicide bomber Nanz Sawadjaan is a momentous achievement we can offer to the people of Sulu. He could have brought enormous destruction in the province if he had carried out the suicide bombing,” said Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of JTF Sulu.
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