MANILA, Philippines – Five members of terrorist group Abu Sayyaf in Zamboanga City were killed during the rescue of an abducted Chinese businessman on Thursday, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) said.
PAOCC said Yuan-Kai Lin, vice president for operations of mining firm Li-Lo Minerals Traders, was rescued after being abducted by the terrorist group last month in Zamboanga Sibugay, along with Jian Luo, Li-Lo’s vice president for finance.
"The hostage is in good condition. Five kidnappers who are members of the notorious Abu Sayyaf were killed during the operation," said Western Mindanao police regional director, Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles.
Estilles said the raid occurred at 9:45 a.m. in Barangay Calabasa. It resulted in the death of Termije Ajijul, Sitti Raja Salvin, Abu Ulm, Arab-Arab and Banah-Banah.
Another ASG member, identified as Sambri Aslon Kamlon alias Abu Ziad, was arrested and is now under the custody of the Philippine National Police-Western Mindanao Command (PNP-WesMinCom).
Meanwhile, the group's leader Khair Mundos was wounded but managed to escape.
Mundos is a key leader and financier of the Abu Sayyaf. The United States Department of Justice is offering $500,000 for information leading to his arrest.
He was captured in 2004, but he escaped from a provincial jail in 2007.
While in government custody, he confessed to arranging funds for terrorist bombings throughout Mindanao, the PAOCC said.
The firefight between the government forces and the bandits lasted for 20 minutes. Soldiers and policemen recovered from the scene several high powered firearms, 14 backpacks owned by new Abu Sayyaf recruits, training manuals of the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah, mobile phones and other personal belongings.
The site of clash was allegedly a new camp for the terrorist group.
The rescue was initiated by the anti-terrorism task force Sanglahi, and was carried out by operatives from the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime, 84th Special Action Company of the PNP Special Action Force, the Anti-Kidnapping Group, Police Regional Intelligence Unit 9, Zamboanga City Police Office, 3rd Explosive and Ordnance Disposal unit of the Philippine Army, and the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission.