Abu suspect held, escapes, killed
TAGBILARAN CITY — The suspected Abu Sayyaf bandit who was captured in Tubigon town on Thursday was killed before Friday dawn as he was supposedly trying to escape policemen escorting him to jail.
Suspected Abu Sayyaf member Saad Samad Kiram, alias Abu Saad, was shot dead around 5 a.m. in Barangay Cabawan here, some 300 meters from the Bohol District Jail where he was supposed to be detained.
“He was supposed to be brought [to the district jail] for safekeeping because we don’t have a detention facility [in the provincial police office],” said Bohol police chief Supt. Felipe Natividad.
After interrogation, Natividad said he boarded a police van with three policemen and a driver around 2 a.m. for the district jail. Three other vehicles were part of the police convoy.
The convoy took a longer route for “security reasons” but when they reached a dimly lit area, Kiram asked that they stop so he could relieve himself.
Natividad noted that when he was under interrogation, Kiram repeatedly said he had a bum stomach and had to relieve himself several times.
The policemen relented and removed his handcuffs after he was escorted to a spot where he could defecate but Kiram fled and hid in a woody area, he said.
Natividad said his men had to look for Kiram for over two hours. He was eventually found around 4:30 a.m.
The suspect, however, resisted arrest and tried to grab the firearm of one of his police escorts, who fired at him thrice. He sustained gunshot wounds in the forehead, chest and thigh.
Kiram was rushed to the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital but physician Edgar Pizarras said he was dead on arrival.
“We are conducting an investigation,” Natividad said. A team from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) arrived later to investigate what they called a “suspicious” killing.
CHR regional director Arvin Odron said they would ask the National Bureau of Investigation to do an autopsy on Kiram.
Kiram was one of 11 Abu Sayyaf members who arrived in Inabanga town on April 10 purportedly to establish a base for terror activities in Bohol and nearby islands.
However, eight of their companions were killed in separate operations in Inabanga and Clarin towns.
Among those killed were group leader Moammar Askali; bomb experts Abu Sufyan and Edimar Isnain; local guide Joselito Melloria; pumpboat operator Aldimar Taib, a certain Richard; another known as Omil; and a third unidentified man.
Kiram was captured in Barangay Tanawan, about 14 kilometers from Tubigon town center, about 7 a.m. Thursday when he asked for food from a townsperson who later informed the authorities. —WITH REPORTS FROM ADOR MAYOL
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