Suspected kidnapper slain in ‘shootout’ with Army, police
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur –– A suspected sub-leader of a kidnap-for-ransom gang in the Zamboanga Peninsula region was killed early Wednesday morning after allegedly fighting off with a combined force of police and soldiers deployed to arrest him.
Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command, identified the slain suspect as Samad Awang, also known as Ahmad Mara Jamal.
Awang was said to be part of the Waning Abdusalam group, which is notorious for its kidnapping spree in the region.
Col. John Divinagracia, commander of the Army’s Joint Task Force Zamboanga, said Awang was behind the kidnapping of, among others, Italian missionary priest Giancarlo Bossi in 2007.
With a caliber .45 pistol, according to Vinluan, Awang fired at the authorities who were trooping to his house in Mampang village here at dawn to serve an arrest warrant against him.
“With their lives in danger, the apprehending team retaliated” resulting in Awang’s death, Vinluan added.
Divinagracia said Awang was facing arrest for a kidnapping charge, ordered by Presiding Judge Josefino Bael of Regional Trial Court Branch 31 in Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Awang was number 25 in the list of persons wanted for kidnapping in the region.
Vinluan said the successful operation was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group, Special Action Force, Regional Mobile Force Battalion-9, Police Station-6, and Zamboanga City Police Office; and the military’s Joint Task Force Zamboanga and Marine Battalion Landing Team 11.
Edited by LZB
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