Military identifies Abu Sayyaf members who grabbed Malaysian sailors
Roel Pareño (Philstar.com) - June 9, 2016 - 4:06pm
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Security forces have identified the Abu Sayyaf members believed to be behind the kidnapping of four Malaysian sailors in April and will include them as targets in military operations.
 
Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), identified Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Madjan Sahidjuan alias Apuh Mike as the leader of the militants that kidnapped Malaysians Wong Teck Chii, Johnny Lau Jung Hien, Wong Teck Kang and Wong Hung Sing.
 
The victims, who were seized while aboard their tugboat off Pulau, Sandakan on April 1, were confirmed freed last Wednesday after negotiations by unidentified Malaysian and Filipino emissaries.
 
The military is already coordinating with Malaysian counterparts so the victims can help identify other Abu Sayyaf members who held them captive for more than two months.
 
Tan said military operations against the Abu Sayyaf are ongoing in Sulu to secure the remaining hostages.
 
The victims believed to still be in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf group include Samal Island tourists Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipino woman Marites Flor.
 
Authorities said that aside from the three Samal Island tourists, whose families and governments were given until Monday to pay ransoms for their release, the Abu Sayyaf group is also holding Dutch birdwatcher Elwold Horn, who was abducted from Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi and five local residents.
 
More soldiers are being deployed to Sulu to help in the operations against the Abu Sayyaf, Westmincom chief Lt. Gen. Mayoralgo dela Cruz said earlier.

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