Abu Sayyaf Frees 6 Kidnapped Muslims In South RPApril 10, 2008 at 7:18 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 10, 2008) – Abu Sayyaf militants freed six people they kidnapped in the southern Filipino province of Sulu, police said on Thursday.
Sulu police chief Julasirim Kasim said the six men were freed Wednesday after the victims’ families paid an unspecified amount of money to the kidnappers headed by Gafur Jumdail.
“All the victims have been released by the Abu Sayyaf. Money was paid to secure their safe release,” Kasim told the Mindanao Examiner by phone from the province.
The six were kidnapped after Abu Sayyaf gunmen hijacked their jeep while transporting six drums of gasoline near the village of Kulasi on Tuesday.
Police said the kidnapping occurred in the same village where Abu Sayyaf militants also snatched a Muslim school principal, Lullong Marrack, on April 1.Kasim said the four of the victims were ordered kidnapped by their enemies over an old debt. The two other men were the jeep’s driver and his helper, both were also freed, he said.
It was unknown how much was paid to the Abu Sayyaf, but Kasim said the families of the victims refused to file criminal charges against the masterminds or the kidnappers out of fear.
“We are studying this case seriously and about how the police can file charges against the kidnappers,” Kasim said.
He said Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan ordered more police forces in the area to track down the kidnappers. “We have already sent at least 50 cops in the area to secure the road and travelers from bad elements and that is what the governor wants,” Kasim said.
Abu Sayyaf gunmen have freed Marrack hours after he was seized in Kulasi village. The 60-year old Marrack was released unharmed. It was unknown whether Marrack’s family paid ransom or not in exchange for the safe release of the victim. But other sources in the town said the victim’s family negotiated for the freedom of the teacher.
Police also implicated Jumdail in the kidnapping. Maimbung is a known lair of the Abu Sayyaf group with ties to the al-Qaeda of Usama bin Laden and Indonesia’s terror group, Jemaah Islamiya.
Last week, government troops killed an Abu Sayyaf militant, Sam Andal, in a clash on Pandami Island off Sulu province. The Abu Sayyaf is still holding a kidnapped trader, Rosalie Lao, since January. It was unknown whether Andal was involved in the kidnapping of the 45-year old Lao, a local Muslim with Chinese ancestry.
Last month, the Abu Sayyaf freed a kidnapped Muslim teacher, Omar Taup, of Notre Dame University in Tawi-Tawi province. Taup was kidnapped January 16 after militants raided the school and killed its Catholic priest, Reynaldo Roda, after he resisted the kidnappers. (Mindanao Examiner)