Egyptian, Two Abu Sayyaf Militants Killed in Jolo: Philippines Military

BenarNews staff
Zamboanga, Philippines
Egyptian, Two Abu Sayyaf Militants Killed in Jolo: Philippines Military Military personnel and civilians carry a soldier after an improvised bomb exploded next to a military vehicle in the town of Jolo on Sulu island, Aug. 24, 2020.

Philippine troops have killed an Egyptian militant and two Filipino members of the extremist Abu Sayyaf in a clash on the southern island of Jolo, the military said Saturday.

Troops from the 4th Light Reaction Company encountered an undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf Group members in the village of Igasan, Patikul late on Friday, triggering a gun battle that led to casualties in the rebel side, said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, commander of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom).

He identified the slain Egyptian only as “Yusop,” believed to be one of five foreign militants fighting alongside the pro-Islamic State group on Jolo.

“He is the stepson of Abduramil, an Egyptian national who was neutralized by the military in (the town of) Indanan in Sulu last November 2019,” Vinluan said.

Yusop’s mother was identified as Reda Mohammad Mahmud, an Egyptian national also known as Siti Aiza, a suicide bomber who blew herself up at a military detachment in 2019. No one was injured in that attack because she set off the bomb prematurely.

“He is one of the five remaining foreign terrorists monitored in Sulu,” Vinluan said, referring to Yusop.

Slain with Yusop were Abu Khattab Jundullah, a bomb expert of the Abu Sayyaf, and Akram, a trusted lieutenant of Mundi Sawdjaan, Vinluan said.

Mundi Sawadjaan is a nephew of Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, a senior Abu Sayyaf commander who took over as head of Islamic State’s Philippine affiliate after Isnilon Hapilon was killed in the siege of the southern city of Marawi in 2017.

Philippine authorities have blamed Mundi for planning a suicide bombing that killed 14 people in August 2020 in Jolo, the capital of Sulu province. In January 2019, 23 people were killed when an Indonesian couple blew themselves up in Jolo’s Catholic cathedral.

Col. Benjamin Batara, Commander of the 1102nd Infantry Brigade, said soldiers had recovered the bodies of the slain militants.

“During the clash, reinforcements were immediately deployed to conduct blocking and pursuit operations in the possible enemy withdrawal routes,” Batara said, noting that three high-powered weapons and ammunition were also recovered from the site.

“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,” the Army official added.

Jeoffrey Maitem contributed to this report from Cotabato City, southern Philippines.



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