MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE)- Troops have killed an Islamic militant leader in Basilan province on Tuesday, the military said.
Brig. Gen. Nicanor Dolojan, commander of Special Operation Task Force-Basilan, identified the slain Abu Sayyaf leader as Suhud Tanadjalin.
Dolojan said Tanadjalin was killed in an encounter with troops at around 5 a.m. Tuesday in Barangay Lower Sinangkapan, Tuburan town.
He said Tanadjalin was with 3 of his followers during the encounter. He said the 3 followers escaped.
Troops recovered a baby armalite at the site of the encounter.
The military said Tanadjalin is one of the original members of the Abu Sayyaf bandit group, which has links with international terror group Al-Qaeda.
It said that the bandit leader took part in the kidnapping of foreigners at the Dos Palmas island resort in Palawan province in 2001.
Among the Dos Palmas kidnap victims was Guillermo Sobero, who was murdered by the bandits.
The military said Tanadjalin was also involved in the kidnapping of Father Rhoel Gallardo, several teachers and students in Barangay Tumahubong, Sumisip town in March 2000. – with a report from Queenie Casimiro, ABS-CBN Zamboanga