ZAMBOANGA CITY: Government troops captured an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) fighter in a remote village in Basilan following a tip from civilians while another terrorist surrendered to soldiers in Sulu.
Abdul Muhsin Nur, who belongs to the group of Furuji Indama, was arrested by the soldiers of the 18th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Block 4, Barangay Bohe Pahu, Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan Province. His location was reported by a concerned citizen from the area.
“This is an offshoot of the command’s focused military operations against the Abu Sayaf Group (ASG) inside their strongholds. We will maintain the momentum and deny these bandits safe havens and hiding places with the strong support of ARMM Regional Gov. Mujiv Hataman, all the governors, mayors, and barangay (village) officials including the traditional and religious leaders,” Major General Carlito Galvez Jr., commanding general of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said.
Meanwhile, Army Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesperson for the WestMinCom in Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City, said Absara Mursalin Akbara, alias Talin Amsang, 41, surrendered last Sunday to the Army’s
41st Infantry Battalion at Barangay Mampallam in Talipao, Sulu. He turned over his M16 automatic rifle.
“During the initial investigation, Akbara said he surrendered for fear he could be the next target of military offensives in Sulu. He said he no longer feels safe as communities have been tipping-off authorities about the sanctuaries and locations of Abu Sayyaf members,” Petinglay said.
Akbara is a member of the ASG sub-group under Jihad Susukan that is operating in the municipalities of Talipao, Maimbung and Indanan.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding over two dozen kidnapped Asian sailors in southern Philippines and recently beheaded German yachter Jurgen Kantner after his family failed to raise the P30 million ransom demanded by the ISIS-affiliated jihadist group.
WITH A REPORT FROM JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL