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Friday, May 08, 2009

Abu Sayyaf Commander in Sulu Sahul Dahim Reported Killed

MANILA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Nine people, including a provincial police chief, were killed Thursday afternoon during a clash in the southern Philippines, the authorities said.

Julasirim Kasim, police director of the Sulu province, and three of his companions died when they were waylaid by suspected members of the extremist Abu Sayyaf group at a remote village in Maimbung town.

The three companions killed were identified as two policemen -- Jammahari and Abdurajan -- and civilian Rosalin Kasim, a brother of the police chief.

The authorities said Kasim and his men were in the area to verify reports of sighting of Abu Sayyaf terrorists at the Bulabug village when they were encountered by an undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf fighters.

Four other policemen were wounded in the one-hour clash. The gunfight resulted in the killing of five of the ambushers, including a Sahul Dahim who is tagged as a local Abu Sayyaf commander operating in the southern province.

Government troops recovered from the Dahim's group a

  • M203 grenade launcher,
  • M14 rifle
  • 16 rifle
  • a cal. 30
  • M1 Garand rifle.

Security forces have launched pursuit operations against the suspects.

Benzali Jabarani, police director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, confirmed with Xinhua that Kasim was killed in the encounter with Abu Sayyaf members, adding that the policemen were on a mission against the extremists that had kidnapped three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"They were conducting operation against captors of ICRC staff when they encountered undetermined Abu Sayyaf kidnappers. He (Kasim) was killed in the firefight," Jabarani said.

The 380-strong rebel group seized

  • Italian national Eugenio Vagni,
  • Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba and
  • Swiss national Andreas Notter

on Jan. 15 after the Red Cross workers inspected a water and sanitation project at a jail in Sulu.

Lacaba was released by the kidnappers on April 2 and Notter managed to escape from the kidnappers April 18 as the bandits were evading a potential clash with government forces.

Till now, the 62-year-old Vagni is still in the hands of the kidnappers.

The Rest @ Xinhua

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