World Bulletin/News Desk
A notorious leader of an al-Qaeda-linked militant group in the Philippines’ Muslim south was killed Saturday during a shootout that also claimed a soldier’s life, according to the military.
Army spokesperson Capt. Rowena Muyuela told The Anadolu Agency in a text message, “He [the Abu Sayyaf leader] was killed when he resisted arrest and engaged the government security forces in a firefight.”
A soldier was killed and another wounded during the clash with the Abu Sayyaf’s Sihata Latip in Parang town of Sulu province – a known stronghold of the group.
Authorities suspect Sihata Latip of involvement in the kidnapping of foreigners and in a series of violent attacks against government forces in Sulu.
"The military and the police are continuously pursuing notorious Abu Sayyaf bandits who are now in the run in Sulu," said Muyuela.
Army Chief of Staff General Pio Catapang Jr. has commended the troops involved in the shootout while extending his sympathy to the family of the slain soldier, according to Muyuela.
Earlier this month, soldiers conducting law enforcement operations encountered around 200 Abu Sayyaf members led by Commander Radula Sahiron, prompting a five-hour gun battle that killed five soldiers and ten insurgents.
Senior leaders of the group were among the dead and 26 government troops were injured, according to a military statement, which did not say if Sahiron was among the casualties.
Sahiron is described in military reports as a one-armed, horse-riding rebel leader who reportedly took control of the Abu Sayyaf following the death of Khadaffy Janjalani in September 2006.
Last Mod: 22 Kasım 2014, 23:46