Sub-leader of Abu Sayyaf arrested in Philippines 2008-01-21 15:23:59   Print

    MANILA, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Joint military and police operatives have arrested a sub-leader of the violent bandit group Abu Sayyaf, who is believed to be involved in the beheading of 10 navy soldiers in last July, the army said Monday.

    The suspect, identified as Aramil Sulayman, was arrested last Saturday noon in the town of Datu Odin in southern Philippines. Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response chief Senior Superintendent Leonardo Espina said Sulayman, who has a 500,000 pesos bounty for his head, has confessed participation in the ambush of the Marine soldiers.

    Fourteen soldiers were killed in an ambush in Basilan island this July when government troops were ordered to upgrade the offensive against the Abu Sayyaf. Among them ten were beheaded.

    Founded in 1990s, Abu Sayyaf was an extremist rebel group based in southern Philippine islands of Jolo and Basilan and had engineered a series of atrocities in the past decade including the arson of a passenger ferry in Manila Bay which killed more than 100 people.

    Last year's beheading has prompted the government to step up combat efforts and vows to tramp out the Abu Sayyaf, estimated to have around 380 members, by the year 2010 when the incumbent president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo finished her second term.

Editor: Wang Hongjiang
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