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Abu Sayyaf bandit killed in shootout

A MOST wanted sub-leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group was killed in a gunbattle with security forces out to arrest him in his hideout in Zamboanga City early morning yesterday, a report to Phlippine National Police chief, General Debold M. Sinas said.

Suspect Samad Awang Ahmad Jamal, described as a hardcore sub-leader of the ASG who organized his own organized crime gang in Western Mindanao, exchanged fire with the raiders using his caliber .45 pistol and was killed in the process, said PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group director, Brigadier Gen. Jonnel C. Estomo.

Estomo said members of the AKG Mindanao Field Unit headed by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence Gomeyac, with the help of officers from the PNP Special Action Force, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the Police Regional Office 9, the Joint Task Force Zamboanga and the Marine Battalion Landing Team 11 tried to serve a warrant of arrest for kidnapping-for-ransom and serious illegal detention in his hiding place in Sitio Sohaya in Barangay Mampang in Zamboanga City 12:30 a.m. yesterday.

However, the suspect noticed the arrival of the arresting officers and immediately pulled out his pistol and started shooting at the lawmen who were forced to retaliate. A chamber-loaded cal. .45 pistol with two magazines containing a total of 11 live ammunition were recovered from the possession of the slain suspect.

Estomo said the warrant for the arrest of the suspect was issued by Judge Josepino Bael of the Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay Regional Trial Court Branch 31.

He added the suspect is listed as the 25th most wanted criminal in Western Mindanao prior to his neutralization.

Estomo said the slain suspect is known for his association with elusive Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf leader Furuji Indama who reportedly has been killed in a clash with soldiers last October.

The suspects were tagged as responsible for the January 29, 2011 kidnapping of Joel Endino in Ipil, Sibugay, Zamboanga City; the 2007 kidnapping-for-ransom of Italian missionary Giancarlo Bossi in Pagadian City who eventually died in Italy in 2012;and the 2013 kidnapping-for-ransom of Kathy Casipong.

“The notorious KFR group is also wanted for its involvement in several kidnapping-for-ransom incidents in nearby municipalities and shoreline areas of Zamboanga City,” the PNP-AKG director said.

He said the kidnappers freed their captives after payment of huge amount of ransom.

Estomo said the body of the slain suspect was properly turned over to his family for immediate burial in accordance with Muslim tradition.