Government forces killed a ranking sub-leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group after a heated gun battle in Patikul, Sulu, on Monday.

The Joint Task Force Sulu confirmed in a statement that Arsibar Sawadjaan was killed in a clash with the military. He was the cousin of bomb expert Mundi Sawadjaan, who is also one of the suspects and the alleged mastermind of the Jolo twin blasts in August. 

According to the military, the clash ensued in the inner village of Patikul town with the 45th Infantry Battalion against the combined groups of Sawadjaan and Radulan Sahiron.

The Joint Task Force Sulu said the government troops did not suffer any casualties

Earlier, the Philippine National Police announced that authorities have also seized an alleged aide of Mundi Sawadjaan in Zamboanga City over the weekend. RJ Espartinez