By Francis Wakefield
Three Abu Sayyaf members died and two others were arrested in a shootout between the group members and Sabah security forces in Lahad Datu on Thursday, December 8, the AFP Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) confirmed on Saturday.
Army Major Filemon Tan Jr., Westmincom spokesman, said the Sabah forces thwarted the terrorists’ kidnapping plans.
As per Westmincom’s validation, the shootout resulted in the killing of Abraham Hamid and two of his cohorts.
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, Island Garden City of Samal City in Davao del Sur.
He was also tagged in the kidnapping of four Indonesian crew members of tugboat Henry.
Two more Abu Sayyaf members—identified as Samsung Aljan and Awal Hajal—were apprehended while two others are missing.
The authorities also sank the group’s speedboat.