Saturday, April 17, 2021

Egyptian terrorist, 2 Sayyaf bombers killed in Sulu (WARNING: Contains graphic image)

SULU - The Philippine military announced Saturday the killing of an Egyptian terrorist - who was believed to be an ISIS soldier - and two Filipino Abu Sayyaf bombers in a brief, but fierce firefight in Sulu, but security officials claimed four other foreign terrorists are embedded with the pro-ISIS group in the province.

Military photos show the bodies of the Egyptian terrorist Yusop (left) and Abu Sayyaf fighters Abu Khattab Jundullah and Akram. 

Army Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command, identified the slain Egyptian only by his first name Yusop, whose mother  - Reda Mohammad Mahmud - was behind the suicide attack at an a military post in Sulu’s Indanan town on September 2019.

Vinluan said Yusop’s grandfather, Abduramil, was also slain by the army in a clash in November 2019. “The neutralized foreign terrorist was identified as a certain Yusop, one of the five remaining foreign terrorists monitored in Sulu,” he said.

The slain Abu Sayyaf fighters have been identified as Abu Khattab Jundullah and Akram, one of the trusted followers of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader and bomb expert Mudzrimar Sawadjaan, who coordinated ISIS suicide attacks in Sulu. The fighting erupted before midnight Friday after members of the elite and U.S.-trained 4th Light Reaction Company assaulted an Abu Sayyaf hideout in the village of Igasan in Patikul, a known stronghold of the terrorist group.

Vinluan, citing military reports, said the fighting only lasted 10 minutes with troops killing three of the most notorious terrorists in the South. These successes (against the terrorists) are attributable to the intensified conduct of intelligence operations, the quick action of our ground troops, and the cooperation of the local governments and the people,” he said, adding, troops were sent to the town’s hinterlands on Saturday to pursue other terrorists who managed to escape under cover of darkness.

This was also confirmed by Col. Benjamin Batara, commander of the 1102ng Infantry Brigade. “Reinforcements were immediately deployed to conduct blocking and pursuit operations in the possible enemy withdrawal routes,” he said.

Batara said troops recovered the bodies of the terrorists and their weapons - one R4 assault rifle, one M203 grenade launcher and an M653 rifle, including dozens of rounds of ammunition. “While scouring the encounter site, operating troops recovered the dead bodies of three slain terrorists. The cadavers were brought to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo town,” he said.

Army Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the 11th Infantry Division and the anti-terror Joint Task Force Sulu, has ordered an all-out offensive against the remaining foreign terrorists and Abu Sayyaf members following the slaying of the Egyptian.

We are utilizing all our air, naval, and ground assets to conduct all-out offensives against the remaining foreign terrorists and Abu Sayyaf group members in our area of operation,” he said, the operations have been coordinated with local government leaders to ensure the safety of civilians.

On August 24 last year, a pair of suicide bombers struck in the capital town of Jolo and killed and wounded dozens of soldiers and civilians. One of the bombers was the Indonesian widow of Abu Sayyaf suicide bomber Norman Lasuca, who blew himself up outside a military base and killed eight people in Indanan town in 2019. The other bomber was the wife of Talha Jumsa, an Abu Sayyaf explosives expert and trained by ISIS, who was also slain in the 2019 clash with soldiers in Patikul town.

In January 2019, a twin suicide attacks carried out by Indonesian couple Rullie Rian Zeke and Ulfah Handayani Saleh at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in downtown Jolo also killed and injured dozens of soldiers and civilians. The first bomb went off inside the church and the second blast occurred outside just as people were rushing out of the building. (Mindanao Examiner, Zamboanga Post)

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