MANILA - Government troops on Tuesday killed the brother of Abu Sayyaf (ASG) leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan in a military operation in Patikul town, Sulu.
The military said in a statement they were conducting an operation in Sitio Tubig Pansol in Barangay Langhub when they encountered around 40 members of the ASG, which is composed of pro-Islamic State bandits.
Heavy firefight ensued for 20 minutes before the bandits fled the area.
One ASG member died while two soldiers were injured.
"Our troops remain persistent in tracking down and neutralizing the remaining terrorists in Sulu,” said Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, chief of Western Mindanao Command.
Soldiers identified the slain bandit as Nanz Sawadjaan, younger brother of Hatib, who is tagged as mastermind of a church bombing in Sulu in January that killed 22 and left more than 100 hurt.
Hatib was also tagged by the US Department of Defense as "acting emir" or head of the Islamic State in the country.