Abus seize 10 workers in Basilan, 2 escape PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 12:01

Abu Sayyaf gunmen on Monday seized 10 workers of a private construction firm working on government projects in the province of Basilan, one of two strongholds of the militant group in southern Philippines.

Two of the abducted workers were reported to have escaped from their captors.

Supt. Oscar Nantes, police provincial director, told DXNO radio station manager Richard Falcatan that  the 10 workers were seized around 9:20 a.m. in the remote village of Benembengan, Sumisip town.

Nantes identified the workers as Nasser Jallaha, Merhusin Ubbay, Mustapha Gapul, Abukaisir Nasilin, Jaya Abdulla, Johan Sarao, Nadzhar Garbon, Alsibar Jauhari, Margani Alpha and truck driver Munib Sadidul.

He said the workers, including Sadibul belong to MACE Construction, a firm carrying out several government projects bidded out by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, including roads and bridges, in Sumisip.

The police director said the victims were aboard a truck driven by Sadidul when Abu Sayyaf gunmen blocked their path and seized them.

Nantes said the Abu Sayyaf militants who abducted the workers are led by Juhaibel Alamsirul alias Abu Kik. They are tagged as behind several “atrocities” in Sumisip

Falcatan quoted the Army’s 104th brigade as saying that the Abu Sayyaf gunmen stopped the truck of the Department of Public Works and Highways carrying the 10 workers and ordered them to alight as the militants forced them to join the group in fleeing to the jungles.

He said the workers were still being held by the Abu Sayyaf as of 1 pm Monday.

Basilan is the birthplace of the Abu Sayyaf founded by  Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani  who was killed in a gunbattle with policemen in December 18, 1998. Upon his death his brother, Khadaffy Janjalani, took control of the organization. Janjalani, a former teacher, studied theology and Arabic in Libya, Syria and Saudi Arabia during the 1980s.

When he returned to the Philippines in 1990 Janjalani was able to attract many Muslim youth to join his organization. Janjalani was also allegedly given $6 million by Osama Bin Laden to establish the organization. He had allegedly met Bin Laden in Afghanistan in the late 1980s and allegedly fought alongside him against the Soviet Union during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. At the time of his death, he was the country’s most wanted man, with a bounty of 1.5 million pesos on his head.