Muslim Solon Says Sayyaf Behind Beheading Of Marines In Southern RP

August 1, 2007 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 01 Aug) – A former Muslim rebel leader-turned-politician has tagged four suspected Abu Sayyaf militants as behind the beheading of 10 government soldiers in Basilan island.

Wahab Akbar, now a member of the Philippine Congress, also has volunteered to run after the killers of the soldiers, who were part of 14 marines attacked in July 10 on the mountain town of Al-Barka.

Akbar, whose wife is the governor of Basilan, identified the suspects as Nurhasan Jamiri, Bujari Jamiri, Suaib Kalibon and Umar Indama. Akbar previously said that the soldiers were decapitated by a son of an Imam – who was allegedly killed by troops in Al-Barka town – to avenge his father’s death.

He said he has witnesses to back up his claims. The four men were also involved in previous kidnappings for money in Basilan.

But the military, which linked the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which is currently holding peace talks with Manila, and the Abu Sayyaf in the beheading of the soldiers, said it would investigate Akbar’s allegation.

“We will investigate the report,” Marine Col. Ramiro Alivio, the island’s military chief, told the Mindanao Examiner.

The MILF, which admitted killing the soldiers in fierce clashes, denied beheading the soldiers.

Police filed murder charges against 130 suspected MILF and Abu Sayyaf militants over the killing of the soldiers, but most of them had already fled their homes to evade arrest.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said some of those charged in the killing are innocent civilians.

“We have received reports that some of those charged in the killing of the soldiers are innocent civilians. We will investigate these reports to ensure the rights of the innocent,” lawyer Manuel Mamauag, CHR regional director for Western Mindanao, said.

Lt. Gen. Pedrito Cadungog, the Philippine military’s deputy chief, said there is an ongoing negotiation for the surrender of those who beheaded the soldiers. He did not elaborate.

But Mohagher Iqbal, chief MILF peace negotiator, said he was not aware of any negotiations for the surrender of the rebels.

“There is no negotiation because the MILF will not surrender any of its members. The fighting was a legitimate encounter,” he said in a separate interview.

Iqbal said the fighting erupted after some 100 soldiers entered an MILF stronghold in the remote village of Ginanta in Al-Barka town.

President Gloria Arroyo has ordered security forces to hunt down the rebels involved in the killing. (Mindanao Examiner)


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