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3 ASG men killed in Sabah encounter

The Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command yesterday confirmed that the three gunmen shot dead by Sabah security forces in Lahad Datu last December 8 were indeed members of the Abu Sayyaf Group.

One of them headed the Samal Island raid that led to the kidnapping of three foreign nationals and a Filipina in September 2015.

“Per validation made by this Command, the shootout resulted in the killing of Abraham Hamid, leader of the Samal kidnapping incident, and two of his cohorts,” WMC spokesperson Major Filemon Tan said in a statement.

Two more ASG bandits were captured in the encounter by Sabah security forces. They were identified as Samsung Aljan and Awal Hajal while two others are being pursued.

Hamid, an ASG spotter, was identified as the leader of the Abu Sayyaf members involved in the kidnapping of Robert Hall, John Ridsdel, Kjartan Sekkingstad, and Maritess Flor on September 21, 2015 at the Ocean View Resort in Camudmud, Samal City, Davao del Sur. He was also tagged in the kidnapping of four Indonesian crew members of tugboat Henry.

“The said Abu Sayyaf members were prevented by security forces in Sabah from executing their kidnapping plans by engaging them in a surprise shootout. The speedboat utilized by the Abu Sayyaf members was sunk during the fight,” Tan added.

Hamid’s death is a big blow to the ASG as his demise has degraded their capability for spotting, he said.
(PNA and Francis T. Wakefield)