Philippine security forces arrested a suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf group on Thursday (March 23) who is believed to have been involved in the hijacking of a cargo boat by a cargo ship off Basilan province.The incident took place hours after the military successfully rescued two Malaysian sailors held by GIA for eight months in Sulu province.
Major General Carlito Galvez Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), told the Philippine News Agency that a group of suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf group considered the M / T Tug 9 as it was sailing near Sibago because of Basilan province on the way, , Saints, Santos, City. The gunmen took two crew members hostage and fled the scene.
The kidnappers were aboard three speedboats retrieved after the suspected militant was arrested, the police chief said. He was arrested after a brief exchange of fire on the coast of Barangi Candis near the town of Mohammed Ajul. The troops also found a firearm from the gunman.
The Philippine military identified the crew of the unknown boats as captain and chief engineer of the ship. They suspect the transfer of prisoners to the mainland Basilan.
“Two Filipino crewmen, the ship’s captain and the chief engineer, were captured,” Lieutenant-Colonel Alvin Daglia told reporters. “The reports are still vague, but we have reasons to believe that the Abu Sayyaf group is behind the attack,” she said.
The operations are under way to arrest the kidnappers, said Col. Guimax Oy, commander of Task Force Basilan. “We will try to push them to the maximum in Toporan and Mohamed Agoul,” ABC said.
Earlier in the day, Galvez announced the release of Theodine Angut, 45, and Abdul Rahim bin Samas, 62, from the Abu Sayyaf family. They were among five members of a Malaysian boat hijacked in July 2016 off Datu in Malaysia.It is known that the Isis group associated with abductions for ransom, is believed to have approximately 28 people in captivity.