Military Confirms Abu Leader’s Death

Philippine Headlines News, Sep. 12, 2002

ZAMBOANGA CITY, September 12, 2002 (STAR) The leader of the Abu Sayyaf rebels who kidnapped four Jehovah’s Witnesses on Aug. 21 has been killed in a gun battle with government troops, the Armed Forces Southern Command confirmed yesterday.

Southcom chief Lt. Gen. Ernesto Carolina said Abdulmuin Sahiron, nephew of the one-armed bandit leader Radulan Sahiron, was killed in an encounter at the border of Patikul and Talipao towns in Sulu last Friday.

Carolina said Abdulmu-in’s death was confirmed by Patikul Mayor Hasser Hayu-dini and a barangay chairman who ascertained Sahiron’s death through his mother.

But Carolina said Abdulmuin turned over his hostages – Norie Bendijo, Cleofe and her sister-in-law Flora Montulo and Emely Mantic – to his uncle Radulan who is now fleeing an intense manhunt, which the military has dubbed “Operation Endgame.”

Carolina denied reports that one of the hostages was killed by their abductors but said military assets around the two towns confirmed that the hostages were indeed in the hands of Radulan.

Carolina said Abdulmuin was killed in an intense gunfight with troops from three Marine brigades, under Col. Eugene Clemens, who caught up with the bandits on Friday between Talipao and Patikul.

Jabarani explained that the militiamen apparently beheaded the Abu Sayyaf member because of atrocities the bandit had earlier committed to residents of the town.

Villagers reported that the militiamen paraded the bandit’s head around the town plaza before it was thrown to the bushes.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday September 12, 2002.
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