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Lawless group leader nabbed

The leader of a lawless group was arrested while a follower was killed in a joint law enforcement operation conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Joint Task Force Sulu and the Philippine National Police in Omar, Sulu Wednesday.

Capt. Jo-Ann D. Petinglay, spokesperson of the AFP Western Minda-nao Command, said Task Group Panther and the Omar Municipal Police Station were conducting an operation against Saudi K. Hamja and his group when they encountered him and 20 of his men at 5:08 a.m. in Barangay Capual.

An encounter ensued resulting into the arrest of Hamja, who has a warrant of arrest for arson and attempted murder, and the death of one of his followers who remains unidentified. Seized from them were 36 high-powered firearms.

Petinglay said a civilian was wounded in the crossfire and was taken to a hospital in Luuk, Sulu. Nobody was killed or wounded in the government side. (Francis T. Wakefield)