ZAMBOANGA CITY: The military on Tuesday said two notorious Abu Sayyaf bandits tagged as behind cross-border kidnappings in the Malaysian state of Sabah were killed during a raid on their hideout in Sulu.
Major Filemon Tan, Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said military forces killed Nixon Muktadil and his brother Brown during the raid on their lair on Tambulian Island off Pata town in Sulu.
He said the brothers were behind the kidnappings of at least 26 Indonesians and Malaysians, mostly crew of slow-moving tugboats in Sabah, near the Philippine border in Tawi-Tawi province.
Details of the military operations were not made available by the military or whether Malaysia was involved in the raid.
But Tan said the killings of the two men were a big blow to the Abu Sayyaf, particularly to its sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya.
“The death of the Muktadil brothers is a major blow to the group of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya because they served as the sea guides and navigators during conduct of kidnappings in the high seas,” he added.
The bodies of the two brothers were handed over to the police in Sulu.
There was no immediate statement from the Malaysian government on the killings of the Muktadil brothers.