Abu Sayyaf leader killed, 3 soldiers hurt in Basilan clash
Alexis Romero (Associated Press) - November 8, 2015 - 3:08am

MANILA, Philippines - An Abu Sayyaf leader tagged in various kidnapping and extortion incidents was killed on Sunday in a clash with government forces in Tuburan, Basilan.

1Lt. Sally Magno, public affairs officer of Joint Task Group Basilan, said Abu Sayyaf leader Abdulhasan Yusop Sanajalun alias “Bullet” died in an encounter with military and police forces in Barangay Lower Sinangkapan at around 4 a.m.

Magno said security forces were conducting law enforcement operations in Barangay Colonia in Lamitan City to serve an arrest warrant against Sanajalun when they were fired upon by unidentified gun men.

A 30-minute gun battle ensued after pursuing government troops were able to track down the Abu Sayyaf leader in Barangay Lower Sinangkapan.

Magno said the operation resulted in the death of Sanajalun and his follower Halid Calbie. Three soldiers were also wounded in the clash.

Security forces recovered an M653 rifle, caliber .45 pistol, improvised explosive devices, hand grenades, air gun, magazines with live ammunition, cellphones and personal belongings from the encounter site.  

Authorities are now using the recovered items to determine the group's connections and transactions.

Magno said the military and police operation was able to preempt a plan by the Abu Sayyaf to stage bombings in Lamitan City.

Sanajalun, who also used the aliases “Rhey Cuebas Santos,” “Arjan Y Sapii,” and “Abdulhasaan Tannajul” had warrants of arrest for kidnapping and serious illegal detention issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 16 of Zamboanga City.

He was also the leader of the Anak Yatim (Orphans of Abu Sayyaf Martyrs), a group accused of killing soldiers, policemen, retailers and foreigners.

The slain Abu Sayyaf leader was also implicated in extortion, intimidation, bombings and the kidnapping of three employees of a construction firm in Barangay Cadayan in Akbar town last January.

“The successful operation against Abdulhasan Sanajalun is a manifestation of the effective cooperation and collaboration of the PNP (Philippine National Police) and local chief executives in running after the perpetrators of terrorists activities in Basilan," said Col. Rolando Joselito Bautista, chief of the Joint Task Group Basilan.

ABDULHASAAN TANNAJUL ABDULHASAN SANAJALUN ABDULHASAN YUSOP SANAJALUN ABU SAYYAF ACIRC AN ABU SAYYAF BARANGAY LOWER SINANGKAPAN JOINT TASK GROUP BASILAN LAMITAN CITY MAGNO SANAJALUN
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