Feb 17, 2009

2 Slain in Foiled Basilan Abduction

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE 2) Two suspected kidnappers were
killed in Basilan province on Tuesday when police and Marines
foiled theirattempt to snatch a seven-year old boy in Isabela
City. Senior Superintendent Salik Macapantar, Basilan police
director, said the suspects seized the boy in the vicinity of
Jessica Hills at around 1 p.m. and then fled with the victim
towards Lamitan City on a motorcycle.

Police and Marines immediately gave chase while checkpoints
were set up on possible escape routes.

A firefight broke out in Maloong, Lamitan when the suspects
opened fire at security forces manning a checkpoint.

Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay, who personally joined
then rescue operations, said suspect Hair Muhmin, 29, of Dugaa
village in Tuburan town, was wounded in the firefight and died
while undergoing treatment at the Lamitan District Hospital.

The second suspect, who remains unidentified, was killed around
5 p.m. in Barangay (village) Sengal, Lamitan by troops of
Marine Battalion Landing Teams 1 and 7, and the Marine Raiders
Company,Navy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Edgard Arevalo saoid.

Isabela Mayor Chaerrylyn Akbar said she immediately raised a
P100,000 reward for the rescue of the boy as soon as she
learned of the kidnapping, the first in the city.

She said the victim is a Grade 2 pupil at the Isabela East
Central School and the son of a bank manager Isabela.

Furigay said they learned of the kidnapping through radio and
“immediately alerted our troops here.”

Meanwhile, Basilan authorities remained clueless about the
kidnappers of Sri Lankan peace advocate Umar Jaleel.

Commodore Alexander Pama, Joint Task Force Trillium commander,
on Tuesday urged the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to
help authorities rescue Jaleel.

Earlier, Eid Kabalu, MILF civil military affairs chief, had
earlier pointed to a faction of the Abu Sayyaf Group as the
one holding Jaleel. “It would be wise for the MILF to sit with
us."Let’s compare notes, helping the authorities in addressing
the case of Jaleel is an opportune time for the MILF to show
their goodwill, their sincerity,” Pama said.

Jaleel’s colleagues at the Nonviolence Peaceforce also have not
received word from the kidnappers since his abduction on
February 13.