Marines kill Sayyaf suspect but woman, child dead in crossfire
ZAMBOANGA CITY—Three persons, including a 7-year-old child, were killed and three other children were wounded in a clash between soldiers and members of Abu Sayyaf at the village of Limaong here around 5:30 a.m. on Friday.
Col. Leonel Nicolas, commander of Joint Task Force Zamboanga, said members of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 11 were on patrol following reports that three armed men, all Abu Sayyaf suspects, were recruiting members in the village.
When the Marines reached the island village, they were fired upon, Nicolas said.
The Marines returned fire, starting a 10-minute gunfight.
“When the shooting stopped, the Marines found a dead man with an M-16 rifle in a makeshift house,” Nicolas said.
“They also recovered a dead woman and a child,” he said.
He said the woman and the 7-year-old child were hit in the crossfire.
Three other children, aged 4, 5 and 8, were wounded and rushed to a hospital.
The military identified the slain gunman as Abu Nebras, who joined the group of Abdullah Indanan, one of the leaders of Abu Sayyaf in Basilan.
His photo was in a gallery of Abu Sayyaf members being kept by the military.
Nicolas said the military had been alerted about Nebras’ presence on Limaong Island on Nov. 7 with two other colleagues.
Nebras allegedly started recruiting minors to join Abu Sayyaf and bragged about his involvement in the Lamitan bombing on July 31, where 11 people were killed and 10 others were wounded. —JULIE ALIPALA
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