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Hospitalized Abu Sayyaf sub-leader, aide arrested in Zamboanga City
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- An alleged sub-leader of the Abu Sayyaf who had sought treatment for injuries was arrested with an aide at a hospital in Zamboanga City Monday evening, the military said.

Major Felimon Tan Jr., spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, said Hairulla Asbang, alias “Ahadi,” and his aide identified only by his alias “Jaber,” were arrested by Zamboanga City police and military personnel around 6:45 p.m. in the Zamboanga Peninsula Medical Center.

Asbang, he said, was arrested on the strength of a warrant issued for “kidnapping with murder and kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges by Branch 10, 9th Judicial Region, Dipolog City and for kidnapping with homicide issued by Branch 34, 11th Judicial Region in connection with the Samal kidnapping case,” Tan said.

In late 2015, Abu Sayyaf gunmen kidnapped Canadians Robert Hall and John Ridsdel, Hall’s Filipina fiancée Marites Flor, and Norwegian resort manager Kjartan Sekkingstad from Samal Island.

The two Canadians were subsequently beheaded after the failure to pay the P300 million demanded for each by the Abu Sayyaf. Flor and Sekkingstad were released, reportedly after undisclosed ransom payments shortly after President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office.

Asbang, said Tan, was admitted to the hospital the morning of December 26 for treatment of a gunshot wound he suffered during an encounter with government troops in Sulu and remains confined there under tight guard “while undergoing custodial debriefing.”