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ASG leader’s relative, 3 others dead in clash

Four members of the Abu Sayyaf Group, including a relative of top leader Isnilon Hapilon, were killed in an encounter in Tapiantana Island in Basilan Wednesday.

Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command, said police and the Joint Task Force Basilan were conducting law enforcement operations when they chanced upon 15 members of the ASG led by Ustadz Mobin Kulin, alias “Mulawin,” a cousin of Hapilon in Tapiantana Island.

A firefight ensued, resulting in the death of Kulin and three of his men. Recovered from the slain ASG men were several high-powered firearms and war materials.

Petinglay said Kulin was an active and hardcore Abu Sayyaf member from Lantawan, Basilan who was involved in the Lamitan, Basilan siege and Dos Palmas kidnapping incident.

The remains of the slain ASG members will be turned over to the Basilan Police Provincial Office for appropriate action, identification, and disposition.

Pursuit operations are being conducted by ground troops against the ASG on the island. (Francis T. Wakefield)