4 Abu Sayyaf killed, but group takes another kidnap victim

Posted on March 13, 2017

GOVERNMENT forces killed four Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members in Basilan province, including a relative of the group’s top leader, the Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) reported. “Amid the ensuing offensive launched by the ground troops, four notorious members of the ASG including the relative of its top leader Isnilon Hapilon were killed in the joint conduct of law enforcement operation early morning on Wednesday (last week),” WesMinCom said in a statement. Major General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., WesMinCom commander, acknowledged the support and coordination of the local government, police, and civilians in Basilan in their operations. Meanwhile, a public school teacher was seized in Patikul town in the island province of Sulu on Friday afternoon. Col. Cirilito E. Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, identified the victim as Ibrahim Potong, a teacher of Jolo National High School. The victim was driving his motorcycle on his way home from Patikul to Maimbung when he was taken at gunpoint. The incident has raised the number of people taken by Abu Sayyaf bandits to 32, including 12 Vietnamese, seven Indonesians, five Malaysians, a Dutch man and six Filipinos. -- reports from Albert F. Arcilla and