BASILAN – The Philippine military said troops captured an Abu Sayyaf fighter following a tip off from civilians in Basilan province and another had surrendered to government soldiers in Sulu province, all in the restive Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.
Army Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command, saidAbdul Muhsin Nur, a follower of Abu Sayyaf leader Furuji Indama, was captured on Monday by members of the 18th Infantry Battalion in the village of Bohe Pahu in Ungkaya Pukan town.
“Nur's location was reported by a concerned citizen from the same area where he was apprehended,” she said.
Petinglay said another Abu Sayyaf rebel - Absara Mursalin Akbara - also surrendered to the 41st Infantry Battalion in the village called Mampallam in Sulu’s Talipao town. She said Akbara, a follower of Abu Sayyaf leader Jihad Susukan, yielded an M16 automatic rifle.
“During the initial investigation, Akbara revealed that he surrendered due to fear that he could be the next target of military offensives in Sulu. Akbara said that he no longer feel safe as communities have been tipping-off authorities the sanctuaries and homes of Abu Sayyaf members,” Petinglay said.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding over 2 dozen kidnapped Asian sailors in southern Philippines and recently beheaded German yachter Jurgen Kantner after his family failed to raise P30 million ransom demanded by the ISIS-affiliated jihadist group. (Mindanao Examiner)