Abu Sayyaf leader, 3 others killed in Sulu clash
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — An Abu Sayyaf subleader and three of his armed followers were killed in a clash with government troops at Barangay Alat in Jolo, Sulu, before dawn on Sunday.
Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu, identified two of the four slain bandits as Injam Yadah, subleader of the Abu Sayyaf, and Al-al Sawadjaan, the youngest brother of bomber Mundi Sawadjaan, alleged mastermind of the twin suicide bombing in Jolo Cathedral that killed 20 people in January 2019.
“It was a law enforcement operation that turned into a shootout in Jolo,” Gonzales said, referring to the operation at Alat village around 2 a.m. by the combined elements of JTF Sulu.
Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command, said Yadah’s group sensed the presence of the troops and opened fire, prompting the government forces to retaliate. “The exchange of gunfire resulted in the instantaneous death of Yadah and three others,” Vinluan said.
Aside from Sawadjaan, another fatality was identified only as Rauf, or Raup, while the third remained unidentified at press time.
Security forces later found an M653 carbine, a .45-caliber pistol, bomb components and 15 mobile phones. Troops also arrested Yadah’s wife, identified only as Jhing, and detained their three children.
According to Lt. Col. Wilfredo Bergonia, commander of the 35th Infantry Battalion, Yadah was involved in the kidnapping of various foreign nationals and locals, including the kidnapping of the ex-wife and daughter of former Talipao Mayor Tambrin Tulawie in 2018.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.