A photo of Sulu provincial police chief, Senior Superintendent Julasirim Kasim, taken in Jolo town two years ago. Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants ambushed a police convoy Thursday, May 7, 2009 killing Kasim along with three other aides and his brother in Sulu's Maimbung town. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)
SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 7, 2009) – Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants ambushed Thursday a police convoy in Sulu in southern Philippines and killing 5 people, including the provincial police chief, officials said.
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, three of his aides and a brother.
“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)