Abu Sayyaf bomb maker killed by Philippine security forces


KOTA KINABALU: A key Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bomb maker Mundi Sawadjaan, who was responsible for the 2020 twin suicide blasts in Jolo Island, has been killed by Philippine security forces.

According to sources, the notorious Abu Sayyaf militant was shot dead during a firefight in Basilan Province on Saturday (Dec 2) night.

The source said Mundi was about to leave the island when he was shot during a special intelligence operation that was targeted towards capturing Mundi.

Brigadier General Alvin Luzon, commander of the Army’s 101st Infantry Brigade, was quoted by the Inquirer.net as saying that this military operation was conducted between the towns of Tipo-Tipo and Tuburan in Basilan.

He identified the terrorist as the ASG sub leader Mudzimar Sawadjaan, also known as Mundi.

He said Mundi was initially intercepted by security forces on maritime patrol in the coastal areas of Basilan before he tried making his escape.

Apart from the Jolo twin bombings on Aug 24, 2020, which killed over a dozen people and wounded more than 70 others, Mundi is also said to be linked to the Jan 27, 2019, Jolo Cathedral blast that killed 20 and injured at least 100 civilians.

Mundi, who is on the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) wanted list, is linked to several cases of holding hostages taken from Sabah waters as well.

Mundi did not enter Sabah but was part of the Abu Sayyaf gang in Jolo keeping hostages between 2018 and 2020.

His death is seen by security observers as one of the final blows to the Abu Sayyaf group's reign of terror in the southern Philippines and kidnappings in sea borders along Sabah.

Many of the senior commanders have been killed or surrendered over the past four years.

It is learnt that Mundi’s body is now at the 101st Infantry Brigade headquarters awaiting proper documentation and disposition.

Officials are said to be waiting for his next-of-kin to claim the body.

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