Friday, March 18, 2011

US rewards Sayyaf informants

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 18, 2011) – The United States on Friday rewarded some $70,000 to Filipino informants who helped local troops tracked down and eventually killed a wanted Abu Sayyaf militant linked to the spate of terrorism and kidnappings of American citizens in the Philippines, officials said.

Officials said Filipino troops had killed the militant, Suhod Tanadjalin, in a raid last month in his hideout in Tuburan town in Basilan province.

“Suhod Tanadjalin was wanted in connection with a number of kidnapping operations, including the Dos Palmas kidnappings and the siege of Lamitan town in 2001. Tanadjalin was involved in planning IED attacks in Lamitan in April 2010,” said a Philippine Army spokesman Colonel Randolph Cabangbang.

He said the militant was a veteran member of the Abu Sayyaf and included in the US Pacific Command rewards list for his capture dead or alive. “Today, the reward is being paid in full from the US government to the local civilians from Basilan who provided the actionable information to the (Philippine Army’s) 32nd Infantry Battalion,” Cabangbang said.

The local military did not say how many informants will share the bounty and that journalists were not invited to cover the event in Basilan province.

The Abu Sayyaf raided the posh Dos Palmas resort in Palawan province and seized more than a dozen holidaymakers, including three US citizens and brought them by boat to Basilan, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.

One of the Americans, Guillermo Sobero, was eventually beheaded by militants and his body left to be eaten by wild animals in the forest. One of the two US hostages, Martin Burnham, was shot dead during a US-led rescue operation in Zamboanga del Norte province and his wife, Gracia, had been freed. Some of the Filipino hostages were also killed by the Abu Sayyaf. (Mindanao Examiner)

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