7 dead as Abu Sayyaf bandits resist arrest in Sulu
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — Seven suspected members of the bandit group Abu Sayyaf were killed in a clash on Sunday in Maimbung town, Sulu, as a government law enforcement operation turned violent, police said.
Brig. Gen. John Guyguyon, police director of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said a team of soldiers and policemen was serving arrest warrants for Juko Dahim, Ammas Hatib Ajon, and Rogir Mukattir for robbery and murder around 5 a.m. on Sunday in Barangay Labah when they were fired upon, triggering the clash.
In the wake of the 30-minute exchange of gunfire, Dahim was seriously wounded along with Jimin Akjal, Aldimar Kanih, Gamil Halik, Norhan Pasi, Malik Eron and an unidentified boy who reports said was a son of Eron.
They were taken to the Sulu Provincial Hospital in the capital town of Jolo where they were declared dead, Guyguyon said.
Mukattir, also known as Rojimar Dahim, and another suspected bandit, Julhim Amdam Agsali, were arrested.
Guyguyon said the troops failed to find Ajon, who escaped during the gunfight.
Police Capt. Nolie Agmaliw, assistant commander of the 72nd Special Action Company, and two residents were wounded in the clash. They were taken to a hospital in Jolo for treatment.
The warrant for the arrest of Ajon, Dahim, and Mukattir was issued by Judge Bensaudi Arabani Sr. of the Regional Trial Court Branch 4 in Parang, Sulu.
Guyguyon said the three were identified as suspects in the ambush slaying of Senior Supt. Jularisim Kasim, then Sulu police director, on May 7, 2009, at Barangay Bato Ugis in Maimbung town.
“They were also involved in kidnapping activities, armed encounters with government forces, and the killing of innocent civilians in Sulu, and to include the selling of illegal drugs and providing financial support for Abu Sayyaf members,” Guyguyon added.
He said the trio used to work under the slain Abu Sayyaf subleader Majan Sahiduan, who was also known as “Apo Mike.”
Authorities seized eight high-powered firearms and assorted ammunition and magazines from the slain suspects.
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