Military seizes alleged hideout of Abu Sayyaf's Mundi Sawadjaan in Sulu

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2020 07:03 PM | Updated as of Sep 23 2020 11:50 PM

MANILA - Government troops on Tuesday seized an alleged hideout of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Mundi Sawadjaan, who is suspected to be involved in the Aug. 24 twin blasts in Jolo, Sulu. 

Lt. Col. Ronaldo Mateo, spokesman of the military's Joint Task Force Sulu, said members of the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion found the hideout in Indanan, Sulu.

According to Mateo, no firefight took place between the military, as Sawadjaan's group have already left the site, apparently after sensing the arrival of the government troops.

"Their traces (at the lair) are fresh," he said, adding the hideout was occupied for at least three days by Sawadjaan's group, which has around 40 members.

Soldiers found personal belongings and food stuffs in the temporary camp.

According to Mateo, the military will not stop until they arrest those responsible for last month's bombings that left 17 people dead, including two suspected suicide bombers, and more than 70 injured.

"Since the bombing, our operations have been relentless... At this moment, pursuit military operations are still ongoing utilizing all land, sea, and air assets of the Joint Task Force," he said.

Since the bombing, military operations against Sawadjaan's group led to the death of three terrorists and the surrender of 9 others, Mateo said.

JTF Sulu commander Brig. Gen. William Gonzales said the government is making progress in its peace and development campaign in the island.

"We are winning in our peace and development campaign in the island of Sulu. In due time, the dwindling number of the terror group will surely be decimated with the active cooperation and support of the governor and municipal mayors," he said.