An Indonesian kidnap victim and a gunman of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed during a heavy exchange of gunfire between government forces and the terrorists in a remote village in Patikul, Sulu on Tuesday morning, Sept. 29, a belated military report reaching this city tonight said.
The report from Sulu province states that the group of ASG Sub-Leader Majan Sahidjuan, also known as Apo Mike, was with the ASG Tanum group at Barangay Maligay, Patikul, Sulu on Tuesday morning when the encounter erupted between the 45th Infantry Battalion (IB). The terrorists had with them five Indonesian hostages, all of them fishermen.
According to the report, one of the five Indonesians was hit in the crossfire between government troops and the armed men.
An ASG fighter was also killed during the same encounter that lasted for almost an hour before the ASG scampered to different directions bringing along with them their four remaining hostages.
The report identified the slain Indonesian fisherman as La Baa, 32.
The four remaining Indonesian hostages were identified as Arsyad Dahlan, 41 skipper of the fishing boat, fishermen Arizal Kastamiran, 29, La Baa, 32, Riswanto Hayano, 27, and Edi Lawalopo, 53.
The five fishermen were kidnapped by the ASG in Tambisan Island, Malaysia, an island in the Sulu Sea, while they were fishing last January 16, 2020
Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chair Yusop Jikiri said the ASG was demanding an undisclosed amount from the fishermen’s employer for their immediate release. The hostages were taken to the forested boundary of Patikul and Indanan towns in Sulu province.
The MNLF anti-kidnapping and terrorism task force which Jikiri organized is closely monitoring the activities of the group.
Many Indonesians work for Malaysian fishing companies in Sabah, fishing near the sea border of the territorial waters of the country.