Sayyaf bomb expert slain in Sulu clash
Roel Pareño, Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - September 29, 2020 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — An alleged Abu Sayyaf sub-leader and bomb expert was killed in an encounter in Patikul, Sulu yesterday morning.

In Zamboanga, another alleged bomb plotter was arrested by a joint team of police intelligence agents and Special Action Force (SAF) commandos.

Troopers of the Army’s 45th Infantry Battalion were patroling in Barangay Maligay in Patikul when they encountered a band of bandits at around 9 a.m., according to Lt. Col. Alaric delos Santos, spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom).

The firefight lasted 50 minutes before the bandits retreated, taking with them their wounded comrades.

Pursuing troopers recovered the body of a slain bandit along the group’s escape routes.

The military identified the fatality as Arsibar Sawadjaan, reportedly a cousin of Mundi Sawadjaan.

Mundi was tagged as the brains in the twin bomb attacks in Jolo that killed 14 people last month.

Bomb plotter nabbed

Meanwhile, members of the Zamboanga regional police intelligence units and SAF’s 82nd Special Action Company arrested Hajili Banah, alias Hashim Saripada, in his safehouse in Barangay Recodo, Zamboanga City.

The arresting team recovered improvised explosive devices and bomb materials from Saripada, according to Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., Westmincom chief.

Saripada is a follower of Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, who is said to be the head of the international terrorist group Islamic State in Sulu.

Saripada reportedly serves as the financial and people facilitator of the bandit group since 2002, Vinluan said.

The suspect was tagged in the 2018 suicide bombing incident in Lamitan City that killed 11 people, and in the Mount Carmel Cathedral attack in Jolo, Sulu in 2019 that left 22 dead.

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