Troops clash with Abu Sayyaf men behind suicide bombings in Jolo

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    GOVERNMENT troops on Wednesday clashed with the group of an Abu Sayyaf sub-leader who masterminded the August 24 twin suicide bombings in Jolo, Sulu, which left 17 people dead, including the two female suicide bombers.

    Troops from the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion were on combat operation when they encountered about 15 Abu Sayyaf men in Barangay Adjid in Indanan town at around 4 p.m.
    The terrorists, led by senior Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron and sub-leader Mundi Sawadjaan, fled after a 20-minute firefight, said said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, commander of the Zamboanga City-based AFP Western Mindanao Command.

    Vinluan said the Abu Sayyaf men suffered an undetermined number of casualties based on the bloodstains found in their position. There was no casualty on the side of the military, Troops recovered at the encounter site two M14 rifles, three hammocks, two pairs of boots, and two backpacks and other personal belongings. Also, recovered were photocopies of two passports owned by Indonesians, whose identities were withheld.

    “The recovered documents of high intelligence value will undergo thorough investigation to extract information that would strengthen our campaign in eliminating the local and foreign terrorists,” said Vinluan.

    Additional troops were deployed to pursue the fleeing terrorists, said Col. Antonio Bautista, commander of the Army’s 1101st Brigade.

    Meanwhile, Abu Sayyaf member Julhusi Madjid surrendered to the Army’s 15th Civil Military Operations Battalion in Indanan town at around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, said Vinluan.

    Vinluan said Madjid surrendered because he was “tired of hiding and was always on the run to evade the operating troops.“ Madjid turned over a Garand rifle with ammunition.

    Madjid is undergoing custodial debriefing at the headquarters of the battalion in Camp Bautista in Jolo, Sulu.