World Bulletin / News Desk
Government security forces have arrested a member of the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group they say is connected to the beheading of a Catholic priest 14 years ago in Basilan in the southern Philippines.
Army spokesman Capt. Franco Suelto said on Monday that Ali Salih - alias Abu Ali - was arrested by combined military and police forces in the island province of Basilan at around 12:18 a.m.
Salih is believed responsible for the beheading of Rhoel Gallardo on the island in May 2000 and has also been blamed for kidnapping 50 teachers and students in June 2001, when the Abu Sayyaf raided a rubber plantation.
Gallardo and three teachers were killed, while three plantation workers were slain by the suspected bandits.
Salih is the latest suspected Abu Sayyaf member to fall into government hands following June, arrests of four Abu Sayyaf, including top official Khair Mundos who the U.S. State Department had listed as among the "most wanted" terrorists in the world, its Reward for Justice program offering a $US500,000 bounty for information leading to his arrest.
Earlier last week, the army said it had seized the Abu Sayyaf main camp in the mountains of Patikul on the island of Sulu after an intense firefight, dealing a major blow to the Al-Qaeda-linked group which has conducted kidnappings and armed raids in the southern Philippines for years.
Since 1991, the group - armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles - has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortions in a self-determined fight for an independent province in the Philippines.Last Mod: 07 Temmuz 2014, 17:09