Notorious ASG leader and bomb expert killed in Basilan

ZAMBOANGA. Mudzrimar “Mundi” Sawadjaan, an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader, who is a bomb expert, was killed in a clash with government forces in the waters of Basilan province on Saturday, December 2, 2023. A photo handout shows soldiers assisting as the Basilan provincial government facilitates the Muslim burial rites accorded to Sawadjaad on Saturday.
ZAMBOANGA. Mudzrimar “Mundi” Sawadjaan, an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader, who is a bomb expert, was killed in a clash with government forces in the waters of Basilan province on Saturday, December 2, 2023. A photo handout shows soldiers assisting as the Basilan provincial government facilitates the Muslim burial rites accorded to Sawadjaad on Saturday. SunStar Zamboanga

A NOTORIOUS Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader, who is a bomb expert, was killed in a clash with government forces in the waters of Basilan province, a top military official announced Sunday, December 3, 2023.

Brigadier General Alvin Luzon, 101st Infantry Brigade commander, said Mudzrimar “Mundi” Sawadjaan was killed in a clash with government troops in the municipal waters between Barangay Banah, Tipo-Tipo town and Barangay Lahi-Lahi, Tuburan town on Saturday.

Luzon said Sawadjaan was about to leave Basilan province for Sulu when the troops intercepted him while conducting maritime patrol.

“Late last year, Mundi left Sulu, evading government operations, and was later monitored in Basilan earlier this year,” Luzon said Sunday, December 3.

He said Sawadjaan is an ASG leader operating in the province of Sulu.

He said that Sawadjaan is a notorious terrorist, a bomb expert, and the mastermind and architect of suicide bombings who perpetrated several atrocities in Sulu Province.

Among his infamous atrocities were the January 2019 bombing of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu that killed 23 people and injured 102 others; the August 2020 twin bombing in downtown Jolo that killed 14 people and wounded 75 others; and, several suicide bombings during the past few years.

Lieutenant General William Gonzales, commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), congratulated the Joint Task Force (JTF)-Orion for its sustained operations running after the remaining terrorists operating in the provinces of Basilan and Sulu.

“The neutralization of Mundi will not only keep the people safe but has finally given justice to the hundreds of victims of his atrocities,” Gonzales added.

Major General Ignatius Patrimonio, JTF Orion commander, commended the 101st Infantry Brigade for the relentless efforts to keep the island province of Basilan peaceful and its people safe.

Luzon urged the remaining ASG members who have been evading government forces to follow in the paths of their comrades who have chosen to walk on the path to peace and development.

"We welcome all remaining ASG members who have decided to value their own and their families' lives. Be assured that we will help them reintegrate into the mainstream society,” Luzon added.

Meanwhile, the provincial government of Basilan assisted and facilitated the traditional Muslim burial rites of the slain terrorist leader. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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