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Nation

Sahiron’s group tagged in birdwatchers’ kidnap

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – A Swiss birdwatcher, who escaped captivity, identified the followers of Abu Sayyaf leader Radullan Sahiron as the ones who kidnapped him and his companion, a military official said yesterday.

Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said Lorenzo Vinciguerra tagged Sahiron’s group in an affidavit prepared by the Philippine National Police (PNP) before the Swiss returned to Zurich.

Vinciguerra, 49, and fellow birdwatcher, Dutchman Ewold Horn, were snatched off Tawi-Tawi on Feb.1, 2012. 

He escaped on Dec. 6 after he attacked one of his captors.

Guerrero said Sahiron’s group is still holding Horn, who opted to stay behind due to poor health, captive.

He said charges of kidnapping with serious illegal detention are being prepared against Sahiron and his group.

Troops overrun 3 Abu camps

Meanwhile, another military official said yesterday that government security forces overran three Abu Sayyaf camps following a series of pursuit operations in the jungles of Sulu.

Col. Alan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Group (JTG), said the camps were found Wednesday in separate areas in Patikul town as the soldiers were pursuing Sahiron’s group.

Arrojado said the camps had nipa huts, clothes and food. 

The troops also found in one of the camps six 20-liter plastic containers and two 15-liter containers filled with ammonium nitrate, blasting caps and PVC pipes. 

“These are the materials used by the bandits in manufacturing improvised explosive devices,” Arrojado said.

He said there were indications from the camps that the bandits were on the run due to military operations.

A SWISS

ABU SAYYAF

ALAN ARROJADO

ARROJADO

DUTCHMAN EWOLD HORN

JOINT TASK GROUP

LORENZO VINCIGUERRA

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE

RADULLAN SAHIRON

RUSTICO GUERRERO

SAHIRON

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