Abu leader involved in 2000 Sipadan abduction among killed in Sulu encounter
Two members of Abu Sayyaf, including the remaining leader involved in Sipadan hostage crisis in 2000 were killed in an encounter with government forces in Sulu on Tuesday.
Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, Philippine Army spokesman, said slain were Sarih Edris and Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Angah Adjih, one of those who seized 21 hostages from the dive resort island of Sipadan, Malaysia in April 23, 2000.
Lt Col. Ralf de Mesa, Joint Task Force Sulu acting spokesperson, said “Ajid is the last remaining Abu Sayyaf leader who was involved in the Sipadan kidnapping in 2000.”
He said troops of 2nd Special Forces Battalion were conducting combat patrol at Barangay Upper Binuang, Talipao, Sulu when they were told by civilians about the presence of suspicious armed men.
De Mesa said soldiers also recovered high-powered firearms during the clash.
“This led to a ten-minute firefight that resulted to the recovery of two high powered firearms; one M14 rifle and one M16 rifle with attached M203 grenade launcher,” he said.
Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo, Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said the series of encounters in Sulu is due to growing support of civilians.
“The Joint Task Force Sulu, together with the local populace, remain steadfast with our mandate of bringing lasting peace in this part of the country,” he said.
Zagala said Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto, the Army commanding general, pledged available Army resources to secure the island of Sulu. Robina Asido/DMS