Abu Sayyaf leader Badong Muktadil killed, says Philippines military

MANILA (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - An Abu Sayyaf leader from Sulu who was linked to kidnappings in Sabah, Malaysia, has been killed, the military said on Sunday (Aug 13).

Brigadier-General Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu commander, identified the dead Abu Sayyaf leader as Badong Muktadil, who together with his brothers was linked to cross-border kidnappings in Sabah since 2013.

"The neutralisation of Badong is another big setback for the (Abu Sayyaf), particularly on their kidnapping and terroristic activities, making the residents in Sulu feel some sort of relief from the threat posed by Badong's group," BG Sobejana said.

He said Muktadil was killed around midnight on Saturday in waters off Barangay Silangkan in Parang, Sulu.

BG Sobejana said several Marines patrolling the waters off Barangay Singkan encountered the group of Muktadil, who were onboard a jongkong watercraft, or a speedboat designed to cut through shallow waters.

A firefight ensued between the Marines and the bandits and Muktadil was killed, BG Sobejana said.

He said Muktadil's body was brought to CGTB Station Hospital in Barangay Busbus, Jolo, Sulu, "for proper disposition".

BG Sobejana said: "JTF Sulu would like to thank the concerned citizens and the local government in the area for promptly informing us on the presence of lawless elements that lead to their neutralisation thus thwarting their hostile plans."

Muktadil was linked to piracy and kidnapping activities in Sulu and in Sabah, Malaysia. They were believed to have been involved in the kidnapping of a Chinese tourist and a Filipino worker from a resort in Semporna, Sabah, in 2014.