Troops kill 2 Sayyafs in Basilan, rescue abducted sailor
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Government troops killed 2 Abu Sayyaf fighters and captured another jihadist and rescued an abducted Filipino sailor in the restive province of Basilan in the Muslim autonomous region in southern Philippines, security officials said on Saturday.
Army captain Jo-ann Petinglay, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command, said 5 motorized boats used by the Abu Sayyaf in their kidnapping activities and piracy were also seized by soldiers in the towns of Al-Barka and Tuburan where the 2 jihadists had been killed.
One of them, Jaudi Salapuddin, was involved in the recent hijacking of a Panamanian cargo ship Super Roro 9 off Basilan province, just several nautical miles south of Zamboanga City. The Abu Sayyaf also seized the ship’s engineer Laurence Tito and Captain Aurelio Agacac who was rescued by soldiers.
The other slain jihadist had been identified as Bistahan Nisalun.
Petinglay said soldiers also captured Rolly Ikih at the house of Vanessa Lajiman, a village councilor of Tumahubong in Sumisip town. Troops also seized a .45-caliber pistol and ammunition from Ikih who is wanted by authorities in Basilan. It was unknown why Ikih was in the home of Lajiman or whether the village official tipped off the military or not.
“We are doing our best to rescue all the kidnap victims within our area of operations however; this is one challenge that your Armed Forces cannot address alone. We need the help and the support of every peace-loving Filipinos in this fight,” said Major General Carlito Galvez, the regional military commander.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding over two dozen Asian sailors kidnapped off Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sabah in Malaysia. (Mindanao Examiner)