AFP: Malaysian forces in Sabah kill ASG leader who figured in Samal abduction
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA - A notorious leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who led the 2015 kidnapping in Samal City was among three bandits killed when Malaysian security forces encountered them while attempting yet another abduction Thursday in Lahad Datu, Sabah.
Major Felimon Tan Jr. of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) disclosed Saturday that, "per validation made by this Command, the shootout resulted in the killing of Abraham Hamid, leader of the September 2015 Samal kidnapping incident, and two of his cohorts."
That abduction in Samal eventually culminated in the beheading of at least two foreign hostages.
Tan added that the encounter also resulted in the capture of two other bandits, identified as Samsung Aljan and Awal Hajal.
Two other bandits were missing and feared dead.
Earlier reports indicated that the shootout ensued when the Sabah forces fired at armed men on board a speed boat while its passengers were trying to board a trawler fishing vessel.
The bandits' boat sank after the firefight and then the Malaysian forces discovered that the armed men were Abu Sayyaf bandits.
According to military dossiers, Hamid started his banditry as an ASG spotter, until he came to be recognized as a leader.
"He was tagged as the leader of the Abu Sayyaf group involved in the kidnapping of Robert Hall, John Ridsdel, Kjartan Sekkingstad and Marites Flor on September 21, 2015 at Ocean View Resort in Camudmud, Samal City, Davao del Sur," Tan said.
"He was also tagged in the kidnapping of four Indonesian crew members of Tugboat Henry," he added.
Tan described the killing of Hamid as "a big blow to the ASG."