The Western Mindanao Command (WMC) on Saturday confirmed that the three gunmen shot dead by Sabah security forces in LahadDatu last Dec. 8 were indeed members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), one of whom headed the Samal Island raid that led to the kidnapping of three foreign nationals and a Filipina in September 2015.
"Per validation made by this Command, the shootout resulted in the killing of Abraham Hamid, leader of the Samal kidnapping incident, and two of his cohorts," WMC spokesperson Maj. Filemon Tan said.
Two more ASG bandits were captured in the encounter by Sabah security forces. They were identified as Samsung Aljan and AwalHajal, while two others are being pursued.
Hamid, an ASG spotter, was identified as the leader of the Abu Sayyaf members involved in the kidnapping of Robert Hall, John Ridsdel, KjartanSekkingstad and MaritessFlor on Sept. 21, 2015 at the Ocean View Resort in Camudmud, Samal City, Davao del Sur.
He was also tagged in the kidnapping of four Indonesian crew members of tugboat Henry.
"The said Abu Sayyaf members were prevented by security forces in Sabah from executing their kidnapping plans by engaging them in a surprise shootout. The speedboat utilized by the Abu Sayyaf members was sunk during the fight," Tan added.
Hamid's death is a big blow to the ASG as his demise has degraded their capability for spotting, he said.
Source: Philippines News Agency