MANILA - Two Abu Sayyaf members were killed in separate clashes with the military early dawn Friday in Sulu, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) said.
Wesmincom identified the suspects as ASG sub-leader Hatib Munap Binda and Bensio Barahama, father of another Abu sub-leader, Sansibar Bensio.
“Based on our records, Binda is the senior leader of the ASG operating in the municipalities of Kalingalan Caluang and Panamao, Sulu. He had been a member of the said terrorist organization since 2002," said Wesmincom commander, Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. said.
He said Binda "was an associate of the late ASG sub-leader Alhabsi Misaya" and was involved in the series of kidnappings in "the tri-boundaries of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines.”
Binda was killed during an encounter with troops from the Marine Battalion Landing Team-1 at Bud Bawis Complex, Barangay Kawasan, Panamao, Sulu at 5:45 a.m. Friday.
Also recovered from the encounter site were one M16 rifle and one M14 rifle.
An hour later, another team of the MBLT-1 encountered the ASG group under its sub-leader Sansibar Bensio a few meters away from the previous encounter site.
Sansibar Bensio, of the Panamao-based ASG, is allegedly involved in kidnap-for-ransom activities targeting foreign nationals including Swiss national Lorenzo Vinciguerra and Indonesians Maharudin Bin Lunani and Muhammad Farhan.
“The encounter lasted for about 20 minutes which resulted in the death of a certain Bensio Barahama and the recovery of one M14 rifle,” said MBLT-1 Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Marvin Salvan.
The military said Bensio Barahama was operating in the areas of Panamao, Omar, and Luuk, all of Sulu.
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