Testing confirms Abu Sayyaf death

DNA tests on the body of a man found in a remote part of the Philippines have confirmed he was the leader of a Muslim rebel group linked to al-Qaeda.

Khaddafy Janjalani, head of Abu Sayyaf, was on a US terrorist list and wanted for killings, bombings and kidnappings.

Officials believe he was killed in clashes with troops in September 2006.

The news comes a few days after troops killed another senior Abu Sayyaf leader, Abu Sulaiman, in a gun battle on the southern island of Jolo.

It was in a remote part of the jungles of Jolo, near the town of Patikul, that Janjalani's remains were found in December 2006.

The Philippine army said captured rebels had led them to the grave. The captives said Mr Janjalani had been shot in the neck in an exchange with marines.

Scientists took tissue samples from his body which were compared at an FBI laboratory in the US with DNA samples taken from his brother Hector, who is currently in jail.

Abu Sayyaf is the smallest of four Muslim rebel groups in the Philippines, with about 400 members.

It is blamed for kidnappings and bombings, including an attack on a ferry in 2004 that killed more than 100 people.

Janjalani is the younger brother of Abu Sayyaf founder Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani, and took over as leader following his death in 1998.

Military crackdown

This week Philippines officials announced that another key Abu Sayyaf member had been killed in a gun battle.

Abu Sulaiman, also known as Jainal Antal Sali, was fatally wounded in a clash with soldiers on the southern island of Jolo, the army's chief said.

Sulaiman had a $5m bounty placed on his head by the US, in part for the 2001 abduction of a group of tourists on the island of Palawan.

The kidnapping resulted in the deaths of two Americans and several others.

Sulaiman is also believed to have been involved in the bombing of a passenger ferry in the central Philippines in 2004, which killed at least 100 people.

Philippine troops backed by the US began an offensive on Jolo in August last year, in an attempt to capture Mr Janjalani and Indonesian terrorism suspects Dulmatin and Umar Patek, who are thought to be in the region.


Bron : BBC News

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