FIVE members of the Abu Sayyaf Group have been charged for the Jolo cathedral bombing last Jan. 27. — WESTMINCOM PHOTO
ONE OF the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members suspected to have facilitated the bombing of a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu last Jan. 27, identified as Barak Ingog, has been killed following an encounter with government forces in a remote part of the island province, the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) reported late Monday. WestMinCom said troops under the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu encountered about 40 Abu Sayyaf under Almujer Yada at Barangay Bangkal in Patikul town late Monday afternoon, where Ingog and another identified as Nasser Sawajaan, nephew of ASG leader Hatib Hajaan Sawadjaan, were also killed. “Three of our troops were also slightly hurt due to shrapnel wounds but they are now fine,” said Brig. Gen Divino Rey C. Pabayo Jr, commander of JTF Sulu. “We also received information from residents in the area, who are also monitoring and reporting the whereabout of the bandits in order to rid their presence in the community, that they overheard that another high value ASG sub leader is missing and probably dead, which is subject to the clearing and pursuit operations of our troops right now,” Mr. Pabayo added. The military has been undertaking intensified pursuit operations against the kidnap-for-ransom gang ASG, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, following the twin bombings at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Jolo, where 23 people died and 95 others were injured.