AFP: Abu leader Indama killed in Basilan clash

AFP: Abu leader Indama killed in Basilan clash

Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - October 31, 2020 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The remaining Abu Sayyaf leader based in Basilan, Furuji Indama, has been killed in an encounter with government troopers.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Western Mindanao Command chief, confirmed Indama’s death after a follower of the Abu Sayyaf leader was killed in an encounter with government forces in Ungkaya Pukan town on Thursday.

Vinluan said Indama was killed on Sept. 9 as soldiers of the 44th Infantry Battalion launched an offensive against the Abu Sayyaf leader in the coastal town of R.T Lim in Zamboanga Sibugay.

He said soldiers initially encountered the group of Indama in Alicia town on Sept. 6. A bandit was killed and an undetermined number of his comrades were wounded in the clash.

Vinluan said Indama was among the five Abu Sayyaf bandits killed in a follow-up operation that left two soldiers wounded.

Indama was an associate of Isnilon Hapilon, the Islamic State’s emir in Southeast Asia, who was killed at the height of the Marawi siege in 2017 along with the Maute brothers.

Indama, who was groomed to succeed Hapilon, was tagged in kidnappings.

Vinluan said Indama’s follower Botak Kerok was killed during an encounter with soldiers in Felang village on Thursday afternoon.

He said Kerok was on a motorcycle with two other bandits when they were intercepted by troops of the 101st Infantry Brigade and 18th Infantry Battalion.

Col. Domingo Gobway, commander of Joint Task Force Basilan and 101st Infantry Brigade, said pursuit operations for Kerok’s comrades are ongoing. – Romina Cabrera

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