Philippine police checking reports of Abu Sayyaf leader’s death

Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan heads a faction of Abu Sayyaf affiliated with Daesh. (AP/File)
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Updated 09 July 2020

Philippine police checking reports of Abu Sayyaf leader’s death

  • Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan heads faction of the group affiliated with Daesh
  • The militant oversaw kidnapping of Arab News's Asia Bureau Chief Baker Atyani

Philippine police are investigating whether one of the senior leaders of extremist group Abu Sayyaf has been killed.

Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, who heads a faction of the group affiliated with Daesh, may have died from gunshot injuries suffered during clashes with government troops on the island province of  Sulu, according to Filipino media.

The report of his death was received by provincial police and is being verified by the Western Mindanao Command, the Philippine Star reported.

The clashes with around 40 Abu Sayyaf militants took place on Monday in Patikul, on one of several remote islands in the far south of the country where the group has its stronghold.

Sawadjaan was accused of masterminding an attack on a Cathedral in nearby Jolo in 2019 that killed 23 people.

He also oversaw the kidnapping of Arab News’s Asia Bureau Chief Baker Atyani in 2012 when he was working as a correspondent for Al Arabiya.

Atyani was held for 18 months before he was freed in December 2013.


Several German health offices hit by bomb threats

Police from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia received a call claiming an imminent threat to a local health authority’s office. (File/AFP)
Updated 08 August 2020

Several German health offices hit by bomb threats

  • Germany has been grappling with a resurgent far-right, and has suffered a number of attacks at the hands of far-right terrorists.

BERLIN: Several bomb threats were made against health authorities across Germany overnight, police said Saturday, although searches have so far not turned up any suspicious items.
The offices of the local health authority in Olpe in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia had to be temporarily evacuated late Friday after receiving such a threat.
The all-clear was given after a search by police officers and sniffer dogs.
Likewise, health authorities in the city of Cologne also received a threatening telephone call, although police said they did not deem it to be serious.
Separately in the Bavaria town of Ansbach, several residential homes were evacuated overnight after police received a call claiming an imminent threat to the local health authority’s office.
In July, several district courts were evacuated in Germany after they received bomb threats.
Nothing concrete have been found in searches and no arrests have been made.
The trial of a man accused of sending over 100 far-right letters to politicians, journalists and officials between October 2018 and April 2019 is ongoing.
The threats had prompted evacuations, including of the main train station in Luebeck and a tax office in Gelsenkirchen.