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Death of MILF leader foils kidnaping of target in Zambo

James Mananghaya - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The military theorized that the death of a renegade Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commander in an encounter in Kabalasan, Zamboanga Sibugay last Saturday effectively foiled a planned abduction of a prominent personality in Zamboanga.

Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, said in an interview that the troops who neutralized Kiddie Abdulsalam and his aide found “indications” of the alleged plan.

“When you are in the area immediately after the encounter there would be some indications that you can (go) through and they found out that the group is planning, or was planning, to kidnap somebody from Zamboanga,” Torres said.

He however did not identify the target personality for security reasons.

Aside from the Bossi kidnapping, Abdulsalam’s group is also believed to be behind the kidnapping of Italian missionary Giuseppe Pierantoni in 2001 and a certain Marilyn Tiu in 2000.

Abdulsalam, a leader of the MILF Special Operations Group, was also believed to be responsible for the recent bombing of Edwin Andrews Airbase last May 29 in Zamboanga City.

Military intelligence operatives and the 102nd Infantry Brigade engaged Abdulsalam and his men in a firefight at the latter’s alleged hideout in Barangay Riverside in Kabasalan town.

The troops were supposed to serve a warrant of arrest against Abdulsalam but his men fired at the soldiers, triggering a firefight.

ABDULSALAM

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES

BARANGAY RIVERSIDE

EDWIN ANDREWS AIRBASE

ERNESTO TORRES

GIUSEPPE PIERANTONI

INFANTRY BRIGADE

KIDDIE ABDULSALAM

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