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03/31/2022 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – Filipino military forces killed a top-ranking Abu Sayyaf Group leader during a gunfight on March 25. The leader, named Radzmill Jannatul, was killed in a clash with members of the elite Scout Rangers in the village of Baiwas on the southern island of Basilan.   

Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway told the media,The troops conducted clearing [operations] at the encounter site and recovered the body of the killed Abu Sayyaf Group member who was later identified to be Jannatul,” adding the gunfight was quick but intense.  

Abu Sayyaff is a Filipino Islamist separatist and the jihadist militant group officially recognized by the Islamic State as the Islamic State East Asian Province. It has been operating in and around Jolo and Basilan islands in the southwestern part of the Philippines for several decades.   

Gobway said the slain man, Jannatul, was the top-ranking Abu Sayyaf commander in Basilan, where the group was founded in the 1990s to fight for an Islamic state. It has devolved into a group specializing in kidnappings for ransom, often targeting local businesspeople, clergy members, and foreign tourists.  

Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr. lauded the troops’ efforts, adding Abu Sayyaf members in Basilan have been driven deep into the jungles.   

“This will weaken the group and force the remaining members to give up their fight and save themselves,” Rosario told reporters.  

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