• Hapilon’s close aide captured

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    A bomb expert of the Abu Sayyaf Group, said to be a close aide of ASG leader Isnilon Hapilon, was arrested by a group of soldiers and policemen in Zamboanga City over the weekend.

    Reports reaching the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command said members of the Joint Task Force Zamboanga and the Zamboanga City Police Office arrested Hamsi Amajad Marani a.k.a Hamsi at Purok 4 in Barangy Muti, Zamboanga City.

    Colonel Leonel Nicolas, commander of the Joint Task Force Zamboanga, said Marani is one of the ASG’s notorious bombers, having been trained by an Indonesian member of the Jemaah Islamiyah who was also involved in a series of military encounters against government forces in Sulu and Basilan provinces

    Marani was arrested after a concerned citizen tipped authorities about his location. Recovered from him were bomb-making paraphernalia.

    “This successful operation was done in close coordination with the members of the Zamboanga City Police Office. The vigilant people of Zamboanga City will never allow any notorious group or individuals to thrive and stay within their peaceful and progressive place,” Nicolas said.

    Marani was placed in the custody of the Zamboanga Police Office.

    Chief Inspector Helen Galvez of the Police Regional Office 9 said Marani will not be transferred to Manila and will stand trial in Zamboanga.

    Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command, commended the soldiers and policemen who captured Marani.

    “I would like to laud our soldiers and policemen for this recent accomplishment,” said. “The capture of Marani will somehow cripple any possible support being given by Marani to Hapilon as he struggles to leave Marawi to safety.”

    “Your WestMinCom forces will continue to hunt down the remaining Abu Sayyaf terrorist until they are incapable of instilling fear to our communities and cities,” he added.

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