MANILA, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- A key leader of the Philippine rebel group of Abu Sayyaf linked to a 2001 kidnapping of foreign tourists was captured in the jungles of Basilan Island in southern Philippines, said police Sunday.
Angging Yunos, alias "Commander Abu Yunos" was captured on Thursday, but his arrest was not immediately announced because military and police were still launching operation against other members of the Abu Sayyaf Group.
Chief Supt. Jaime Caringal, chief of the Philippine National Police for Western Mindanao, did not give details on Yunos' capture but said he would be presented to the media on Monday.
Yunos is one of the three most wanted Abu Sayyaf commanders operating in the vast Zamboanga Peninsula in southern Philippines.
The manhunt against Yunos, who masterminded the kidnapping in 2001 of 21 people, most of them foreign tourists, in Dos Palmas resort in Palawan, southwest Philippines, was jointly launched by police and military forces after they were informed that he was in the hinterlands of the town of Isabela in Basilan.
Yunos is facing charges of kidnappings, multiple murder and illegal detention.
An American missionary, Martin Burnham, was killed when government troops tried to rescue the kidnapped from Yunos and his followers.
The Philippine military has also been hunting down Abu Sayyaf top leader Khaddafy Janjalani, who is hinding on the island of Sulu with 200 fully armed Abu Sayyaf men and two members of the Indonesian militant group Jemaah Islamihya who were linked with the 2002 Bali bombing in which 202 people were killed. Enditem