9 suspected bombers arrested in Sulu

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    GOVERNMENT troops arrested nine women suspected to be suicide bombers, including a sister and three daughters of a slain Abu Sayyaf leader, in simultaneous operations in Sulu province on Friday, the military reported yesterday.

    Five were nabbed in barangay Bangkal in Patikul town, including Elena Tasum Sawadjaan Abun, 40; and Lina Darun Maruji, alias Appuh Yayang, 66, daughter and sister, respectively, of the late ASG leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

    Sawadjaan was slain in a firefight with soldiers in Patikul in July last year. Sawadjaan had been tagged by the military as the mastermind behind several suicide bombings in the province.

    The military said Abun is also the widow of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Walid Abun.

    Arrested with Abun and Maruji were Firdauzia Said, alias Firdausia Salvin, a widow of sub-leader Mannul Said; Risa Jalil, wife of ASG member Nasser Sawadjaan Hadjail, alias Labah who is a nephew of Sawadjaan; and Sharifa Rajani, alias Indah Wida and Widz, wife of ASG member, one alias Mukti who worked under Sawadjaan.

    The five yielded components for improvised explosive devices, including a battery with battery; a non-electric blasting cap, a backpack, suspected ammonium nitrate fuel oil, suspected detonating cord, 2.5 inches of GI pipe, 184 pieces of one-inch concrete nails, and two android phones.

    Two more daughters of Sawadjaan, identified as Isara Jalmaani Abduhajan, 36 and and Jedah Abduhajan-Amin, 28, were arrested in a separate operation also in barangay Bangkal.