Photos released by the Sulu Provincial Information Office show the bodies of four Abu Sayyaf militants who were part of a group that ambushed a police convoy Thursday, May 7, 2009 in Maimbung town in Sulu province in the southern Philippines. The ambush killed the Sulu provincial police chief, Senior Superintendent Julasirim Kasim and three of his aides and a brother, police says.
SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 7, 2009) – Policemen killed four Abu Sayyaf militants who were part of a group that ambushed Thursday a police convoy that killed the provincial police chief of Sulu and three of his aides, including his brother.
The four were killed in the ensuing firefight between police forces and the Abu Sayyaf in Maimbung town. Two of the slain attackers were identified as Abul Rahim and Joko.
Officials said militants opened fire with automatic weapons on the convoy in the town of Maimbung, a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf; killing Sulu police chief, Senior Superintendent Julasirim Kasim.
“This is a sad day for all of us. Our chief was killed in the ambush staged by the Abu Sayyaf,” said Chief Inspector Usman Pingay, police chief of Jolo town.
Pingay said they tightened security in the capital town after the ambush.
“We are now in high alert, we don’t know what will happen next,” he said.
The motive of the attack was unknown, but Kasim had been in the front line in battling the Abu Sayyaf group which is holding a kidnapped Italian aid worker Eugenio Vagni.
Before he died, Kasim said they were pursuing Vagni’s captors in the towns of Indanan, Parang and Maimbung. Kasim in the past also led the crackdown on suspected Abu Sayyaf supporters and the campaign against illegal weapons in Sulu.
Last December, Abu Sayyaf militants led by Gafur Jumdail attacked a police station in Maibung town, although there were no casualties.
The Abu Sayyaf, which means “Bearer of the sword,” has been linked by authorities to the al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya and blamed on the spate of bombings in the southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner)