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4 killed in Abu Sayyaf ambush in Basilan

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Four persons, including three security personnel of the Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Coop. Inc. (TARBIDCI), were killed in an ambush by alleged Abu Sayyaf gunmen in Sumisip, Basilan early morning on Maundy Thursday, the military said.

Seven other persons were wounded in the attack on workers of the cooperative in Tumahubong village around 5:45 a.m., Colonel Ricardo Visaya of the 104th Infantry Brigade said.

Visaya identified the slain security personnel as Nulmer Lumbos, who was driving the cooperative’s patrol vehicle, Nusaman Hatula and Hassan Manjapal.

Wounded were Macion Bonifacio, Reynaldo Pia, Alihol Bistanul, Pangamdas Mujib, Munap Saalul, Ahmad Ibrahim and Lucman Unzah.

Visaya said the cooperative’s security personnel were on a patrol vehicle and were securing an area – where about a dozen rubber tappers were to work – when fired at by the Abu Sayyaf men under Puruji Indama.

Visaya said responding elements of the Army’s 4th Scout Ranger Battalion under Lieutenant  Colonel Armand Arevalo had clashed with the bandits and killed one Abu Sayyaf member in the process.

“One ASG suspect identified as certain Bakrim was killed,” he said.

The Abu Sayyaf is a ragtag band of self-styled Islamists being linked with Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network of terror.

Most of its senior leaders landed in Washington’s list of most wanted terrorists because of the Abu Sayyaf’s involvement in high-profile kidnappings – including of foreigners – and bombing activities.

Although previously dismissed by the military as a spent force, the Abu Sayyaf – founded in the 1980s by a Abdurajak Janjalani – continues to sow terror, especially in remote villages of Western Mindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

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