ZAMBOANGA CITY – A notorious Abu Sayyaf leader linked to terror attacks and ransom kidnappings in southern Philippines was killed along with 2 other militants in a clash with police forces in Sabah, Malaysia.
Nurhassan Jamiri, who is on top of the Philippines’ most wanted terrorist list, was slain at a plantation in Tawau on Tuesday. His companions remain unidentified, according to the Eastern Sabah Security Command.
Jamiri, a native of Basilan province in the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao, was also implicated in dozens of ransom kidnappings, including Australian international adventurer Warren Rodwell in 2011 in Ipil town in Zamboanga Sibugay province.
Datuk Hazani Ghazali, chief of the Eastern Sabah Security Command, said the trio had opened fire at pursuing policemen inside the plantation, about a kilometer from the main Kalabakan-Keningau Road, in a four-minute shootout.
A report Thursday by the Malaysian newspaper, The Star, quoting regional intelligences sources, said Jamiri was armed with a high-powered rifle when gunned down by the police in a firefight.
Hazani said Jamiri’s group is suspected to be linked to a cross-border terrorist network that might be planning an attack on Sabah. He said they could also be linked to 10 people arrested recently by the Bukit Aman anti-terrorism unit for planning to carry out attacks in the eastern state.
He said Tawau district police chief Assistant Commander Fadil Marcus had also noted that the trio seemed to operate in a tactical manner before they were shot dead.
Governor Mujiv Hataman, of the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao, said Filipino authorities were still verifying whether the slain gunman was Jamiri. “We shall know the truth. I wish this report is true,” he told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner on Thursday.
There was no immediate statement or confirmation from the Philippine military or the national police about the Jamiri’s killing. (Mindanao Examiner)
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