MNLF commander wounded in attack

By Edwin G. Espejo

GENERAL SANTOS -- A ranking leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) was seriously hurt when five heavily armed men strafed his house in a barangay in Palimbang in Sultan Kudarat Friday evening, a belated report from the military revealed.

Military sources said the armed attackers were led by Alo Binago, leader of the Abu Sufian kidnap for ransom group, who teamed up with the Abu Sayyaf gang headed by Khadaffy Janjalani.

The motive behind the attack was not immediately established but sources said it could be retaliation for the capture of two Abu Sayyaf members Tuesday last week.

The military identified the wounded MNLF commander as Jasmin Drah, a ranking officer of the pro-government faction of the Moro rebel group.

Drah was wounded in the arm and leg and was brought to a local hospital in General Santos where he is now recuperating. The attackers immediately fled under the cover of darkness.

Drah belongs to the Council of 15 faction of the MNLF that ousted Nur Misuari from the MNLF leadership.

At the time of the incident, he has been working closely with the government and is the project coordinator of a United Nations program in Palimbang.

Brigadier Gen. Alexander Yano, commanding general of the 601st Brigade, earlier said Binago and Khadaffy are holed up in the thickly vegetated mountains of Butril, once a former stronghold of the MNLF.

Last week, suspected Abu Sayyaf members Monib Jailalon and a certain George Ramirez were captured in Palimbang and in Maitum, Sarangani, respectively, while on their way to General Santos to buy medical supplies.

The two, who were sent to Zamboanga City where they are now facing charges of kidnapping with serious illegal detention, reportedly admitted they were part of the Abu Sayyaf group that landed in Barangay Libua, also in Palimbang, last July 5.

They also confirmed that Janjalani is now in Palimbang together with at least 55 other heavily armed followers. Sun.Star General Santos

06/10/2003

Bron : Sun Star

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