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Abu Sayyaf sub-leader killed while trying to leave Basilan

A sub-leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group was killed while attempting to leave Basilan over the weekend, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported Sunday evening.

According to the AFP, Mudzrimar Sawadjaan — also known as Mundi — was killed during a special intelligence operation by Joint Task Force Orion of the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 2, 2023.

Sawadjaan was reported to have died in the coastal waters between the barangays of Banah in Tipo-Tipo and Lahi-Lahi in Tuburan in eastern Basilan while trying to leave the island province.

The ASG is based in Basilan with the militant and pirate group staging bombings, kidnappings, extortion and terrorist activities since its inception in 1989.

The AFP said a traditional Muslim burial will be conducted for Sawadjaan while it tries to contact any family members to facilitate the claiming of his remains.

“The successful operation is a testament to the relentless efforts and unwavering commitment of our armed forces to ensure the safety and security of our citizens,” the AFP said.

The military also called on remaining ASG members to surrender and avail of the government’s amnesty program in efforts to move forward from the decades-long insurgency.—RF, GMA Integrated News