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MANILA, Philippines – Three top terrorist leaders and at least 12 others were killed in a bombing operation dawn of Thursday, February 2, in Sulu, the military said.
Killed in a 2 am military bombing operation in Sulu was Umbra Jumdail aka Dr Abu, a senior leader of the Abu Sayyaf who has been the subject of an intense manhunt in the last few years. Dr Abu’s death has been confirmed by sources both in the military and police. His son Teng and cousin HJ Tati were among the casualties, the same sources said.
Col. Eduardo Davalan, operations officer of the Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command, said in a statement that among the fatalities are 2 foreign terrorrists who were leaders of the Jemaah Islamiyah. They are Zulkipli bin Abdul Hir, alias Marwan, a Malaysian, and Muhamda Ali alias Muawiya, a Singaporean of Indian heritage, according to Davalan.
Marwan, 46, along with his brother Rahmat, was indicted in a US court in 2007 for conspiring and providing support to terrorists. The US government offered a $5-million reward for information leading to his arrest.
Muawiya, on the other hand, served as the translator for the kidnapped workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2009 in Sulu that was carried out by ASG commanders Dr Abu And Albader Parad.
The military said they conducted the bombing raid using 2 OV-10s, which dropped 4 bombs in Sitio Lanao Bato, Barangay Lanao Dakula in Parang town, Sulu.
Three of the bombs reportedly hit the target.
Sulu police provincial chief Sr Supt Tony Freyra reached the site of the aerial attack around 10 Thursday morning to collect “pieces of evidences” as part of their investigation into the incident.
“Due to the impact of the aerial assault, destroyed tents, sleeping mats and personal belongings, as well as toppled trees were all over,” Freyra told Rappler. “From the looks of it, it is unlikely that any of the targeted bandits could have survived the attack.”
There were no reports of civilian casualties, according to Freyra.
But only last year, the military also announced that it had killed, through a bombing raid in Sulu, Dr Abu. The claim turned out to be false.
AIR Force OV 10 bomber planes conducted air strikes yesterday in Sulu province where an Abu Sayyaf leader wanted for kidnapping and several other bandits were reported hiding.
Three enemy bodies were recovered by security forces in the lair of Abu Sayyaf leader Umbra Jumdail alias Dr. Abu in Karawan village, Indanan town.
A military source said the bombing also targeted two personalities linked to the Jemaah Islamiah Asian terrorist network. He identified them as “Marwan” and “Mauwiyah.”
The source said Jumdail, Marwan and Mauwiyah were with about 24 Abu Sayyaf men.
“Marwan” is among numerous aliases used by Malaysian Zulkifli Abdhir/Zulkifli bin Hir who is in the US list of most wanted terrorists and is believed to be a member of the Jemaah Islamiah central command. The US is offering $5 million for his capture. Abdhir is an engineer trained in the United States and is believed to have been living in the Philippines since August of 2003, training Abu Sayyaf bandits on bomb making.
Among other aliases he uses are Zulkifli Abd Hir, Zulkifli Bin Abdul Hir, Zulkifli Abdul Hir, Abdul Hir bin Zulkifli, Zulkifli Hir, Musa, Abdulhir Bin Hir, and Armand Escalante. – Rappler.com