ZAMBOANGA CITY: The police killed a suspected Abu Sayyaf gunman who may be involved in the spate of kidnappings in Malaysia’s oil-rich state of Sabah yesterday.
The gunman, who was initially identified as Muktadil, was fatally shot during an exchange of fire late Wednesday afternoon in Jolo town in Sulu province following a police raid on his hideout.
No one else was killed or injured in the incident.
The authorities are still verifying whether the slain suspect was among those who kidnapped Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, the manager of Ocean King Seafood Restaurant in Sabah’s Sandakan town and customer Bernard Ghen Ted Fen, 39.
Malaysian policemen said four gunmen raided the restaurant on the evening of May 14 and seized the duo.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the abduction, but authorities in Sabah have linked two siblings Nilson Muktadil, who is his 30s; and Badong, alias Adzmil Muktadil, in his 40s, to the latest abductions.
The Muktadil brothers are natives of Southern Philippines and were also tagged to be behind the kidnapping of Chinese tourist Gao Huayun, 29, and Filipino worker Marcy Dayawan, 40, in Sabah in April last year.
Just recently, troops also clashed with suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels in the village of Panducan in Sulu’s Pangutaran town that left a still undetermined number of gunmen dead and wounded, according to the Western Mindanao Command.