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Rescued Malaysian captive succumbs to gunshot wound; soldiers fighting Abu Sayyaf get recognition

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ONE OF THE SOLDIERS wounded in the continuing operations against the bandit Abu Sayyaf group gets a medal of recognition pinned by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on April 9 during the Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) commemoration. — WESTMINCOM PHOTO

MALAYSIAN KIDNAP victim Jari Bin Abdullah, who was shot by his Abu Sayyaf captors as he was being rescued in Sulu by government troops last April 4, died on April 9 at the West Metro Medical Center in Zamboanga City after his family consented to the removal of the life support system. The military’s Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) reported that his family, Malaysian Consul General Nur Harun, and officials of the International Monitoring Team were present at the hospital. “We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families of Abdullah. Our troops are exhausting all efforts to defeat the Abu Sayyaf and bring justice to the victims of terror,” said Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, WestMinCom chief. Meanwhile, Indonesian kidnap victim Heri Ardiansyah has flown to Manila on April 9 for his journey home. The body of another Indonesian kidnap victim, identified only as Hariadin, was also brought to Manila last April 8. The two Indonesians were rescued in Sulu on April 5. The three Abu Sayyaf kidnap victims, all fishermen, were abducted early Dec. 2018 in the waters off Kinabatangan in Sabah, Malaysia. Pursuit operations are continuing in Sulu, where President Rodrigo R. Duterte joined the Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) celebration last April 9. As part of the ceremony, Mr. Duterte pinned medals of recognition to soldiers who have been wounded in the fight against the Abu Sayyaf and gave assurance of continued assistance to their families. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras