Sayyaf taunts Aquino, seizes Sulu midwife
ZAMBOANGA CITY—The military on Thursday said Abu Sayyaf gunmen on Wednesday abducted a midwife from Indanan, Sulu to treat members of the bandit group who were wounded in the July 28 clash with Marines that left at least seven Marines dead and 27 other soldiers wounded.
The abduction came just days after President Aquino, angered by the beheading and mutilation of some of the Marines killed in the July 28 clash, ordered the military to obliterate the bandit group.
“The midwife was abducted to treat wounded bandits,” said Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command.
Cabangbang said the military has already launched a search and rescue operation for Evangeline Taverisma, 55.
Taverisma was on her way to the health center in Indanan town when snatched by four armed men in Tagbak village.
Cabangbang said the gunmen were carrying .45 cal. pistols. They forced Taverisma into a red Toyota Tamaraw, which the military official said was similar to the vehicle being used by a Nasir Timbang, a member of the Abu Sayyaf.
This led officials to conclude that Taverisma had been abducted by the Abu Sayyaf, said Cabangbang.
He said the military was able to confirm two things–the involvement of Timbang in the abduction and information that Abu Sayyaf members had been wounded in the July 28 clash with Marines and were brought to an undisclosed place for treatment.
Commodore Armando Guzman, Western Mindanao naval commander, earlier said the Abu Sayyaf had suffered a significant number of casualties during the July 28 clash in Patikul, Sulu.
Guzman said the military believed that at least 20 Abu Sayyaf members were killed and scores were wounded in the clash.
Cabangbang said the military believes that by locating Taverisma, soldiers could also find the place where the wounded Abu Sayyaf members have been brought.
He said a Marine unit was given that task.
After honoring the dead Marines, Mr. Aquino ordered troops to make sure the Moro bandits are brought to justice. Julie Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao
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