Tuesday, November 3, 2020

7 Sayyaf fighters killed in sea battle

SULU - At least 7 Abu Sayyaf fighters were killed following a sea chase that erupted in a gun battle early Tuesday off the southern Filipino province of Sulu, security officials said.

“All seven Abu Sayyaf were killed in the clash. Retrieval operations are going on. The bodies sunk, the motor boat sunk, but we have combat divers in the area,” said Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the anti-terror Joint Task Force Sulu.

Gonzales said they were monitoring the movements of the Abu Sayyaf and intercepted their speedboat. “Actually, our operations began shortly before midnight and from there we were monitoring the motorboat of the Abu Sayyaf until we launched the assault at around 2:15 in the morning” he said, adding, troops surrounded the battle area and for three hours search for the bodies of the Abu Sayyaf. All of them are killed.”

Citing intelligence reports, Gonzales said the militants were on their way to Surigao province to kidnap businessmen and resort owners. “That’s their target, businessmen and resort owners in Surigao,” he said.

Among those killed in the clash were brothers and relatives of Abu Sayyaf leader Mudzrimar Sawadjaan, alias Mundi, who was the architect of the twin suicide bombings in Sulu’s capital town of Jolo in August this year, according to Gonzales.

He said there was no military casualties, but the battle left bullet holes on the navy’s attack vessel and its search light.

Last week, security forces also prevented an Abu Sayyaf bombing in Sulu’s Indanan town after a civilian discovered an improvised explosive at a roadside in Timbangan village.

The explosive, assembled from a mortar rocket rigged to a timer and a blasting cap and mixed with five liters of ANFO or ammonium nitrate / fuel oil, was believed planted by Sawadjaan’s group, said Col. Antonio Bautista, commander of the 11th Infantry Brigade. (Mindanao Examiner)

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