A WANTED member of a kidnapping-for-ransom gang in Western Mindanao was killed in a gunbattle with security forces in Zamboanga City around 1 a.m. yesterday, Police Regional Office 9 director, Brigadier General Froilan Quidilla said.
Quidilla identified the slain suspect as Masdal Jakaria, a resident of Barangay Arena, Blanco, Zamboanga City who has been tagged as a member of the Waning Abdusalam Kidnapping Group by the Philippine National Police Directorate for Intelligence. The kidnapping group is said to be operating in Zamboanga Sibugay and other parts of Western Mindanao.
The official said that a composite team from the Joint Task Force Zamboanga City about to search the house of Jakaria for illegal possession of explosives when he opened fire at the officers.
The lawmen retaliated hitting Jakaria who was pronounced dead upon arrival in a local hospital.
Recovered from the possession of the slain suspect were five blasting caps, a detonating cord, electric wire and one caliber .45 pistol with several live ammunition.
Quidilla said that the body of the suspect was turned over to a Muslim priest for burial purposes in accordance with Islam tradition.