Military believes ranking Abu Sayyaf leader dead
A ranking Abu Sayyaf leader was killed in a September encounter with military troops, the Armed Forces of the Philippines believed.
Furuji Indama, a senior Abu Sayyaf leader based in Basilan province, allegedly died following an hourlong firefight with military troops last month, Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, chief of the AFP Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said Friday.
However, the military has yet to see his body or find his grave to officially confirm the death.
Vinluan said the military is currently in the process of locating Indama’s burial site to confirm his death. However, Vinluan said they believed he died “based on reports from the intel community and info from his relatives.”
In a text message to reporters, Westmincom spokesperson Lt. Col. Alaric De los Santos said they had information that Indama was severely wounded during the September 2020 encounter.
The military earlier reported that during the September clash between the 44th Infantry Battalion and the Abu Sayyaf Group in Alicia town, Zamboanga Sibugay province, at least five members of the Abu Sayyaf under Indama were killed. The military did not name Indama as one of the fatalities at that time.
Indama was considered to be responsible for the suicide bombing that killed 11 people in Lamitan City, Basilan, in July 2018.
He was also part of the group wanted for the 2001 abduction of 21 local and foreign tourists in the Dos Palmas resort in Palawan province, including US missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham.
Martin was killed by his captors on June 7, 2002, at the height of the rescue operation staged by the military in Zamboanga del Norte province.
Gracia was rescued and brought home to Kansas her husband’s remains where he was buried on June 14 of the same year.
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