Abu Sayyaf bomb maker killed

The man behind several attacks over the years was shot during a special operation

KOTA KINABALU: A key Abu Sayyaf bomb maker, who was on the Eastern Sabah Security Command’s (Esscom) wanted list and linked to several kidnap cases in Sabah waters, was killed by Philippine security forces, according to sources.

The notorious Abu Sayyaf extremist, Mundi Sawadjaan (pic), was also behind the 2020 twin suicide blasts on Jolo island in southwest Philippines. He was shot dead during a firefight in Basilan province on Saturday night.

The sources added that Mundi was about to leave the island when he was shot during a special intelligence operation.

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

He identified the terrorist as Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Mudzimar Sawadjaan, also known as Mundi, who was initially intercepted by security forces on maritime patrol in the coastal areas of Basilan before he tried making his foiled escape.

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

A wanted man on the Esscom list linked to several abductions in Sabah waters, Mundi did not enter the state but was part of the Abu Sayyaf gang in Jolo keeping the 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 the sea border 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 to be claimed by his next of kin.

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