Suspect In Beheading Of Soldiers Yield In Basilan Island

August 9, 2007 at 5:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Villagers look at policemen near the town of Al-Barka in the southern Philippine island of Basilan, where 14 Marines were killed, ten of whom beheaded, by Moro rebels on July 10. An international peace mission led by the Southeast Asia Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict and Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition and the Initiative for International Dialogue is expected to arrive on the island Friday, August 10, 2007 to inspect Al-Barka town and the thousands of Muslim villagers who fled their home for fear of an impending government offensive against the rebels in Basilan. Fighting erupted Tuesday between troops and Moro gunmen on the island. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)

 

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 09 Aug) – One of four alleged Abu Sayyaf militants implicated in the beheading of ten Marines in Basilan island in the southern Philippines has surrendered Thursday and denied all accusations against him.


Regional police chief Joel Goltiao said Bujari Jamiri, accompanied by a GMA-7 television news crew in Basilan island, surrendered to authorities in Zamboanga City.


Jamiri denied all accusations against him and police wanted to question him after Basilan Rep. Wahab Akbar tagged him and three others Nurhasan Jamiri, Jamiri, Suaib Kalibon and Umar Indama as behind the killings of soldiers in Al-Barka town on July 10.


Akbar said he has witnesses to back up his claims.


“We need to get Jamiri’s statement. He should have surrendered himself to the police or the court of law in Basilan,” Goltiao told the Mindanao Examiner.


But the military linked the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), to the killings.


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


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 MILF, which is currently negotiating peace with the government, denied beheading the soldiers and pointed to the Abu Sayyaf instead.


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.

Goltiao said two of those included in the arrest warrants, both Muslim clerics, are also willing to surrender. “Two more accused in the killings of the soldiers are set to surrender. It is now up to the court to determine their guilt,” he said.

The two also denied involvement in the grisly killings.


An international peace mission led by the Southeast Asia Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict and Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition and the Initiative for International Dialogue are expected to arrive on the island Friday to inspect thousands of Muslim villagers who fled their home for fear of an impending government offensive against the rebels in Basilan.


Fighting erupted Tuesday between troops and Moro gunmen on the island. (Mark Navales)

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