An Abu Sayyaf subleader and three of his alleged followers were killed during a joint military and police raid in Barangay Alat in Jolo, Sulu, on Sunday, June 13.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Mindanao Command identified the group’s slain leader as Injam Yadah, a man notorious for beheadings and kidnappings in Mindanao.
He was also linked to cross-border kidnappings in Sabah, according to a report from Malaysian newspaper The Star.
Major General William Gonzales, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, said Yadah had a reputation for being “extremely violent,” and beheaded his captives, who included soldiers.
Lieutenant Colonel Wilfredo Borgonia, commander of the Philippine Army’s 35th Infantry Battalion, also said Yadah’s kidnap victims included foreigners and the estranged wife and daughter of a prominent politician in 2018.
Aside from Yadah, those killed included Al-Al Sawadjaan, the brother of Abu Sayyaf bomb maker Mundi Sawadjaan, who was named by the military as the mastermind behind the January 2019 Jolo Cathedral bombing and the August 2020 twin suicide blasts in Jolo. Mundi was not with the group during the raid.
A certain Rauf and a still unidentified man were also killed.
Soldiers and police were trying to serve an arrest warrant against Yadah, his wife Jenalyn Habibi Jairi – known as Jhing – and the others at around 1:30 am on Sunday, according to a report from the Police Regional Office in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
But the group fired at the soldiers and police, prompting the troops to shoot back, said Philippine National Police chief General Guillermo Eleazar in a statement.
The troops arrested Yadah’s wife Jhing and took their three children into custody.
Gonzales said the troops also seized an M653 carbine rifle, a caliber .45 pistol, bomb-making materials, ammunition, detonating cords, and a blasting cap. – Rappler.com