Sayyaf bandit nabbed in Basilan

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: Police commandos, backed by Army soldiers, recaptured a notorious Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandit in his hideout in Lamitan City where he hid after escaping jail in 2009.

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Security officials said Boy Indama, a follower of ASG leader Furuji Indama, was being interrogated following his capture on Thursday. His arrest was not immediately made public pending an ongoing operation againts other militants and residents reportedly protecting Indama.

It was not immediately known whether Indama was plotting a terror attack in Basilan, a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, whose leaders have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Two of its members – Omar Askali and Mukaram Sapie – who are both bomb experts were also arrested in Zamboanga City on September 23. They were said to be plotting to bomb civilian targets in the city, but were foiled after they were arrested separately.

Security forces seized a fragmentation grenade and two identification cards, including a cell phone from Askali, a trusted aide of Indama who is tagged by authorities as behind the spate of terror attacks and killings in Basilan.

Similarly, an improvised explosive and a .45-caliber pistol were confiscated from Sapie in Taluksangay village.
Zamboanga, which was targeted in the past by ASG bombers, is celebrating a Catholic feast this October.

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