ZAMBOANGA CITY – An Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader was killed while another surrendered as the government offensive has continued against them in parts of Mindanao, military officials said Monday.
Killed was Guro Idzri alias Commander Idris, who was also a kidnap-for-ransom cell leader in the province of Tawi-Tawi.
The ASG member who surrendered was identified as Julasbi Misuari alias Imbuh, a follower of the slain Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya.
Brig. Gen. Custodio Parcon Jr., Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi commander, said Idzri was killed when he resisted arrest by government troops in a law enforcement operation at around 7:10 a.m. Sunday at Sitio Suwang Kagang, Barangay Pasiagan, Bongao municipality.
“When troops are about to serve the warrant of arrest, Idzri fired at them using his caliber .45 pistol prompting our troops to shoot back,” Parcon said.
Parcon said Idzri was rushed to the Datu Halun Sakilan Memorial Hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
He said the troops recovered from Idzri’s possession a caliber .45 pistol with ammunition. The firearm was turned over to the police.
Parcon said Idzri was recently monitored casing for a possible victim to be kidnapped at the construction site of a diesel power plant in Barangay Pahut, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
Idzri was a follower of slain Sulu-based ASG spokesperson Muamar Askali alias Abu Rami and was believed to be involved in the November 5, 2016 kidnapping of German national Jurgen Kantner.
Government troops killed Askali in a clash on April 11 this year in Bohol while the ASG beheaded Kantner in February, also this year.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said Misuari surrendered and turned over to authorities a caliber .30 machine gun around 10 p.m. Saturday.
Sobejana said the 545th Engineer Construction Brigade and the Sulu-based Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) facilitated the surrender of Misuari, who was reportedly the ASG conduit in the island municipality of Banguingui.
“Misuari revealed that there are more Abu Sayyaf members who are already contemplating to surrender as a result of the relentless operations and pressure employed by the Joint Task Force Sulu to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf and kidnap for ransom members, particularly at their staging areas on the islands of Sulu,” Sobejana said.
He said the surrender of Misuari brought the number of ASG members who surrendered in the province of Sulu since January to a total of 24. (PNA)