Photo provided by the military’s Joint Task Force Sulu shows explosives, suicide vests and documents seized from three would-be suicide bombers, including two foreign nationals, who were killed following a shootout at a checkpoint in Indanan, Sulu the other day.
Soldiers kill 2 Egyptian suicide bombers in Sulu
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - November 7, 2019 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY , Philippines — Two alleged Egyptians and their Filipino companion suspected to be suicide bombers of the Abu Sayyaf were gunned down during a firefight at an Army checkpoint last Tuesday afternoon in Indanan, Sulu, a top military official reported yesterday.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said the encounter in Sitio Itawon, Barangay Kan Islam in Indanan at about 4:50 p.m. occurred as military intelligence uncovered a plot by the Abu Sayyaf to stage bombings in Sulu.

Westmincom show the suicide bombers slain during an encounter in Indanan, Sulu on Tuesday night.

Sobejana said the slain Egyptians were identified as Abduramil, also known as Yusof, and his son Abdurahman.

The Egyptians have been training the local bandits headed by Hatib Sawadjaan on how to make bombs.

Sobejana added the father and son, together with an Abu Sayyaf member, were reportedly out to conduct suicide bombing in downtown Jolo, apparently to avenge the recent killing of their Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) emir, Abu Bakr Al Bagdhadi by US Special Forces troops in Syria.

 

Sobejana confirmed that there are around seven foreign terrorists working alongside the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu and the IS-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Central Mindanao.

He added that operations were launched to contain the presence of these foreign ISIS jihadists in Sulu and other areas in Mindanao.

Col. Gerald Monfort, spokesman for Joint Task Force Sulu (JFTS) and 11th Infantry Division, said the three suspects who were riding on one motorcycle, tried to break through the military checkpoint when they were neutralized by the troopers.

“The terrorists, composed of two foreign terrorists and a local Abu Sayyaf member, were about to carry out their suicide bombing mission in Metro Jolo when they were neutralized by AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) during the implementation of a military operation intended to apprehend foreign terrorists in Sulu,” Monfort said.

He said troops of the Army’s 41st Infantry Battalion and 1102nd Infantry Brigade spotted the suspects on board a motorcycle coming from Maimbung town. The terrorists fired at the soldiers manning the checkpoint.

The troops retaliated and fired back, killing the three suspects, Monfort said.

Intelligence reports disclosed that the foreign terrorists were allegedly the husband and son of the female suicide bomber who blew herself up at a military outpost last Sept. 8 along Kilometer 3 in Barangay Tagbak, also in Indanan.

The troops recovered from the three slain suspects one .45 caliber pistol, a fragmentation grenade and two vests with explosives and triggering devices.

The military said the recovered explosive vests were identical to the vest used by the suicide bombers during the two attacks in Barangay Tanjung, Indanan last June 28 and Sept. 8.

He said the military has conducted forensic and DNA testing on tissue samples taken from the slain suspects to determine their identities.

Col. Ignatius Patrimonio, commanding officer of 1102nd Brigade, said the planned bombing could have caused heavy casualties if it was executed.

“The terror plot in Sulu could have caused tremendous casualties and tarnished the image of this country if not immediately acted upon by our soldiers,” Patrimonio said.

Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., JTFS commander, lauded the troops for foiling the terror plot by intercepting the three suspects.

Vinluan said the military forces in Sulu would relentlessly hunt down the remaining Abu Sayyaf members and foreign terrorists taking refuge in Sulu.

The military earlier disclosed a number of the foreign terrorists are believed to be under the protection of Sawadjaan, who pledged allegiance to the IS branch in southern Philippines.

Government security forces are now tracking down another son of the slain Egyptian-ISIS member whom Sobejana said is believed being protected by the group of Sawadjaan.

“We are doing our best to confine this terrorism problem in Mindanao, the reason why we have a very close coordination, particularly with the Philippine Navy and the Philippine National Police,” Sobejana said.

Following the killing of the two foreign terrorists and one Abu Sayyaf bandit, Sobejana called on local residents in Sulu for their full support to the ongoing government peace efforts in the island province. – With Jaime Laude

EGYPTIANS SUICIDE BOMBER SULU
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