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Philippines: Militant wished for beheadings, three others killed

Philippine troops killed 4 Abu Sayyaf militants in a gunbattle Sunday within the nation’s south, together with a commander blamed for beheadings and a suspected would-be suicide bomber, army officers mentioned.

Military troops backed by police have been to serve a warrant for the arrest of Injam Yadah at his dwelling after midnight in Alat village in Jolo city in Sulu province, when he and his males opened fireplace. That sparked a gunbattle that killed the militants, mentioned regional army commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr.

Yadah had been accused by the army of involvement within the kidnappings for ransom of Filipinos and foreigners, together with eight Indonesian fishermen who have been kidnapped at sea off Malaysia in early 2020 and dropped at the southern Philippines.

Three of the Indonesians have been freed, one was shot and killed whereas trying to flee and 4 have been rescued by Filipino troops in March.

“He had a repute for being extraordinarily violent, beheading captured harmless civilians and safety forces alike,” a army commander, Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, mentioned of Yadah.

Yadah had additionally been linked to the 2015 kidnappings of 4 individuals, together with two Canadian vacationers. The Canadians have been individually beheaded by their Abu Sayyaf captors, together with Mujir Yadah, a brother of Injam, after a deadline for ransom fee lapsed, a army officer mentioned.

One other Abu Sayyaf militant killed in Sunday’s firefight was al-Al Sawadjaan, a bomb-maker and would-be suicide bomber, in keeping with Lt. Col. Wilfredo Borgonia, a military infantry battalion commander.

Troops seized a rifle, a pistol, bomb components and 15 cellphones. In addition they took into custody Yadah’s spouse and three kids, the army mentioned in a press release, including the kids have been “rescued.”

Sawadjaan was a youthful brother of Abu Sayyaf commander Mundi Sawadjaan, the primary suspect in numerous lethal suicide assaults lately in Sulu, a predominantly Muslim province the place the militants have been the goal of yearslong army offensives.

The Sawadjaans belonged to an Abu Sayyaf faction that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

This yr, not less than 18 Abu Sayyaf militants have been killed, 17 captured whereas 86 others have surrendered in Sulu, the army mentioned.

The US and the Philippines have individually blacklisted the Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist group for lethal bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings. The brutal group has been significantly weakened by battle setbacks, surrenders and factionalism however stays a nationwide safety menace.

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