ZAMBOANGA CITY –Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded a government soldier they captured in the southern Philippine province of Sulu where security forces are battling the notorious group linked to the Islamic State, intelligence reports said.
It said Staff Sergeant Anni Siraji, of the 32nd Infantry Battalion, was seized near the village of Igasan in Patikul town on April. And his body had been recovered on Sunday in the village called Taglibi, also in Patikul town, a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf.
Siraji, a former Moro National Liberation Front rebel, was part of an army unit working on peace and development projects in Sulu, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region. He was travelling to the village of Igasan when 7 armed militants seized him.
The military’s Western Mindanao Command did not release any information on Siraji’s brutal killing, but a local television news report quoted Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of an army task force in Sulu, as saying that Siraji’s decapitated head was also recovered by soldiers.
Siraji was a native of Sulu and a former Moro National Liberation Front rebel before he joined the army following the signing of a peace accord between the MNLF and government in September 1996.
Thousands of former MNLF fighters had been integrated to the military and police forces following the signing of a peace deal with Manila in September 1996, but many also - disgruntled with the accord - joined the Abu Sayyaf and other rebel groups in the region.
The Abu Sayyaf which is notorious for beheading their captives and behind the spate of ransom kidnappings and terrorism. (Mindanao Examiner)