Abu Sayyaf leader killed in southern Philippines


MANILA, Feb. 21 – Albader Parad, a notorious Abu Sayyaf terrorist leader linked with al Qaeda terror group, along with five of his men were killed today following a two-hour fierce gun battle with government forces on Sulu island in southern Philippines, the military said. A Philippine Marine trooper was also killed, while three others were wounded in the fighting in a remote village in Karawan in the town of Maimbung, Sulu province at around 6 this morning, according to Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino, commander of the Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Dolorfino said Parad's death was a “big blow” to the ragtag Abu Sayyaf terror group responsible for a series of attacks and kidnappings in southern Philippines for the past decade.

“We have confirmed that one of the six bodies belong to Albader Parad as confirmed by four independent civilian sources,” Dolorfino said.

Also killed was Abdulhan Jurndail, a brother of top Abu Sayyaf leader Dr. Abu Pula, alias Dr. Abu.

The firefight was triggered when soldiers stormed the mountain hideout of the Abu Sayyaf.

Civilian informers tipped the military about the presence of the Abu Sayyaf in the area.

Brig. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, chief of the Joint Task Force Comet (JTFC), he immediately dispatched the Marine Special Operations Platoon and Marine Reconnaissance Company to Karawan.

He said government troops recovered four high-powered firearms that included a Belgian-made rifle, two M-203 grenade launchers and a squad automatic weapon from the encounter site.

He said the body of Parad and the others killed were brought to a Marine camp in Sulu.

Parad led a group of armed men that kidnapped ABS-CBN television reporter Ces Drilon, her crew and a Mindanao university professor Octavio Dinampo in 2008. The crew was released by the group, reportedly upon payment of a hefty sum of ransom.

Parad was also responsible for the kidnapping of the three staff workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross – a Swiss, an Italian and a Filipina on the island of Sulu last year. The three were either released or have escaped.

“This is a very significant gain in our campaign against terrorism. Albader is the most influential Abu Sayyaf leader. This is a big blow to them, his death,” Dolorfino said.

Parad is among the Abu Sayyaf personalities wanted by the US government, which has earmarked P1-million (US$20,000) reward for his capture, dead or alive. Also, the Philippine government has raised a P7 million for his neutralization.

AsiaBen Cal