• Abu Sayyaf avoids AFP, moves hostages

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    MEMBERS of the al-Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have started to move some of their hostages in Sulu where the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has launched an offensive against the bandit group since late last year, according to a source from the intelligence community.

    The source, who uses the code-name Pokemon, on Tuesday said the ASG is doing this to ensure that some of their hostages would not be caught in the crossfire between government troops and the rebels.

    Based on information relayed by their informant from within the group, Pokemon added, the latest hostage to be moved by the group is a South Korean who was abducted last year in Zamboanga Sibugay province in southern Philippnes, where the banddit group mainly operates.

    He said the South Korean hostage was transferred to the custody of an ASG sub- commander in Sulu even as the military presses its all-out offensive against the rebels in the towns of Indanan and Patikul.

    The hostage—Noui Hong Sung, 73, married and a businessman—“was moved by the group of Radullan Sahiron based in Patikul to the group of Edang Susukan that is based in Talipao [also in Sulu],” the source added.

    Pokemon said the military offensive against the ASG is concentrated on areas of Patikul, which ASG subcommander Radullan Sahiron is based and in Indanan town where ASG commander Alhabsi Misaya is based.

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