Arrests of Abus in Zambo City trigger heightened alert
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - June 25, 2014 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Police and military authorities have placed their men in this city on heightened alert following the series of arrests of suspected Abu Sayyaf militants reportedly plotting to stage kidnappings.

Senior Superintendent Angelito Casimiro, city police chief, said the military offensives against the militants in Sulu and Basilan also contributed to the heightened alert.

In a week’s time, security forces captured six suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits, including three militants in a beachfront in Barangay Maasin last Sunday night while reportedly targeting to seize a son of a shipyard owner and another businessman.

A speedboat was confiscated from the three bandits, whose companions managed to flee on another speedboat.

Hours earlier, combined security forces also captured Sattar Abdulla, who was tagged in the 2002 kidnapping of six Jehovah’s Witnesses members in Sulu.

“We suspect these Abu Sayyaf (militants) who were spotted here were on a kidnapping mission only,” Casimiro said.

However, Casimiro did not discount the possibility that the Abu Sayyaf could launch an attack here to divert the military’s attention in Sulu where 10 militants were killed and 13 others were wounded in an encounter in Patikul town last week.

Seven soldiers were also killed and 24 others were wounded in the clash. The government troops were on a mission to rescue at least 10 captives, including six foreign nationals, of the Abu Sayyaf.

ABU ABU SAYYAF BARANGAY MAASIN CASIMIRO MILITANTS PATIKUL SATTAR ABDULLA SAYYAF SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT ANGELITO CASIMIRO SULU AND BASILAN
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