3 suspected Abu Sayyaf Group members nabbed by gov’t troops in Basilan
MANILA, Philippines—Three suspected members of Abu Sayyaf Group were arrested by government troops in law enforcement operations in Basilan Tuesday morning, a military spokesman said.
Acting Army spokesman Major Harold Cabunoc identified the suspected bandits as Abdulbaki Ismanul, 30, Al Mahdi Arshad, 22, and a 12-year-old boy.
The boy is claimed to be a 4th-grade pupil in Tongsengal village, he added.
“The troops of the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion led by Lieutenant Colonel Armand Arevalo were scouring the forested area in Tongsengal village in Sumisip town when they spotted the suspects in their makeshift tents at around 6:00 a.m.,” Cabunoc said.
“The Scout Rangers were able to crawl in the bandits’ position without being detected. They did not put up a fight upon seeing that they were completely surrounded by the soldiers,” he added.
Three high-powered firearms were also confiscated from the suspects including two M16A1 Rifles and an M14 Rifle.
The suspects, believed to be members of the group of Furuji Indama, who is responsible for several abductions and killings in the island province, were brought to the military camp in Isabela City for custodial debriefing before being turned over to the local police for the filing of appropriate charges, Cabunoc said.
The military has also contacted the local officials and the Department of Social Welfare and Development regarding the case of the 12-year-old minor, he added.
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