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Troops seize Abu Sayyaf lair in Sulu




Personal belongings and foodstuffs were found in the encampment. (11ID image)

Government troops have overran an encampment of an Abu Sayyaf group under sub-commander Mundi Sawadjaan, the suspected mastermind of the 24 August 2020 suicide bombings in Jolo, Sulu.

Lt. Col. Ronald Mateo, Armed Forces Joint Task Force-Sulu spokesman, said Tuesday that Sawadjaan and about 40 other Abu Sayyaf militants stayed in the area for almost three days.

Members of the Army’s 5th Scout Ranger Battalion reached the lair around 9 a.m., and found there personal belongings and foodstuffs.

Mateo said it was Sawadjaan’s group that figured in a firefight with members of the 45th Infantry Battalion in Patikul, Sulu last Sunday.

Earlier, the military reported that three soldiers were injured in the fighting. Mateo said Sawadjaan’s group suffered “heavy casualties” in that incident.

Brig. Gen. William Gonzales, Joint Task Force Sulu (JTF-Sulu) commander, said troops are still pursuing Sawadjaan’s group using land, sea, and air assets.

“We are employing the full force of JTF-Sulu’s military assets to track down the group.”

p: wjg