ZAMBOANGA CITY: Philippine troops have killed Alhabsi Misaya, one of the Abu Sayyaf Group’s (ASG) most notorious sub-leaders in Sulu, in an operation late on Friday.
Military reports said members of the Philippine Marine Special Operations Group ended Misaya’s banditry at the village of Silangkan, Parang town in Maguindana, a known stronghold of the militant group affiliated with the Islamic State.
His body was brought to a military base in Jolo town. A report branded the daring military operation as an “entrapment to neutralize” one of the Abu Sayyaf’s notorious executioners.
Malacañang on Saturday lauded the killing of Misaya even as it called on citizens to fully cooperate with the government in its efforts to finally end the threat of the bandit group.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the death of the extremist commander dealt “a big blow to the notorious kidnap-for-ransom terrorist group.”
Misaya was also linked to the spate of terrorism in southern Philippines and cross-border ransom kidnappings in Sabah, Malaysia and attacks on cargo ships off Tawi-Tawi province. He was also behind the beheading of Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall in 2016 and seven Filipino workers in Sulu.
Both Canadians were kidnapped from the resort island of Samal in Davao del Norte on September 2015 along with Norwegian man Kjartan Sekkingstad and his Filipina girlfriend, Maritess Flor. Both Sekkingstad and Flor had been freed in exchange for huge ransom payoffs.