At least 7 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members were killed early Tuesday morning, November 3, in a clash at sea with the military.
Joint Task Force-Sulu said in a statement that it intercepted 7 ASG members aboard a twin-engine speedboat over open waters of Sulu near Sulare Island, in Parang, Sulu, at around 2 am.
The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said in a separate statement that the Abu Sayyaf members were planning to carry out kidnappings in mainland Mindanao.
The military believes it killed two brothers of bomber Mundi Sawadjaan – Madsmar and Mannul Sawadjaan – as well as 5 other Abu Sayyaf memberss who have yet to be identified.
Mundi is believed to be behind the Jolo twin bombings in August 2020 that killed at least 15 and injured 75.
As of press time, the military continues to conduct retrieval operations for the boat and the cadavers of the ASG members. – Rappler.com
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.