An Abu Sayyaf bandit was killed Wednesday afternoon after a fierce gunfight with government militiamen and barangay peacekeeping action team (BPAT) in Ungkaya Pukan town, Basilan.
Local authorities identified the bandit as Munir Abduljarid Kahum, a known henchman of Abu Sayyaf commander, Furudji Indama.
Joel Maturan, the town’s former mayor, said local officials of Barangay Sungkayut and Materling received information from civilians that an armed man was sighted in one of the houses in the remote village of Sungkayot.
Government militiamen and barangay peacekeepers were met with heavy gunfire when they reached the subject’s location.
A few minutes of gunfight ensued, which resulted to the death of Kahum.
Authorities recovered an M16 rifle from the suspected bandit.
Maturan said they have been on high alert for the past few weeks after the Abu Sayyaf threatened village officials who did not concede to demands of monthly protection money.
He added the bandits were also extorting money from local businessmen in Ungkaya Pukan and threatening their lives if they resisted.
Amid fear of retaliation from the bandits, Maturan said they have maintained normalcy in their municipality as more government troops were deployed in their area for tighter security.
Classes in public schools were also not affected, amid security concerns brought out by some teachers and parents.