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ZAMBOANGA CITY – Marines raided a suspected Abu Sayyaf hideout on Thursday and captured 3 people and three speedboats in a daring operation near the Sabah border in the southern Philippine province of Tawi-Tawi, officials said.

Officials said members of the elite Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) under Colonel Fernando Gomez launched the operation near Sitangkai Island. A shotgun and ammunition were also seized from the men, who are currently being interrogated to determine if they were involved in cross-border kidnappings.

It was not immediately known whether the speedboats are being used in kidnapping activities in Sabah in Malaysia. No other details were made available by security officials on the raid because the operation is going on, but the ARG includes the BRP Tarlac, the newest ship of the Philippine Navy.

The capture of the trio coincided with the arrest late Thursday afternoon of an Abu Sayyaf militant – Bads Adjam alias Abu Jihad – in Santa Maria village in Zamboanga City.

Adjam has been linked to the 2002 kidnappings of six members of the Jehova’s Witness in Patikul town in Sulu province and 21 mostly European holidaymakers in Sipadan Island off Sabah in 2000.

Officials did not say if Adjam’s arrest was connected to the military operations in Tawi-Tawi, but both provinces are part of the Muslim autonomous region. (Mindanao Examiner)


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