Abu captor of ICRC workers hurt–police

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Abu Sayyaf leader who has taken responsibility for the abduction of three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is alive but was hurt in Monday’s clash with military troops in Sulu, a police official said, Tuesday.

Commander Albader Parad and his men engaged government forces in Tubig Dakula village in Indanan, said Superintendent Julasirim Kasim, the province’s police chief.

Kasim also said that reports about the recovery of belongings of hostages from the ICRC were not true.

A Philippine Daily Inquirer source involved in the operation said Parad was only injured and his aide was the one killed during the group’s attempt to break through the military cordon set up around the area where the captives were believed to be held.

The source also said the ICRC hostages were not with the group that civilian volunteers and Marine soldiers had clashed with.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sulu Governor Sakur Tan said Parad could have been killed in the encounter.

“All our sources confirm that he was killed,” Tan said in a radio interview on DzRH.

Brigadier General Gaudencio Pangilinan, Civil Relations Service chief, and the military’s spokesman on the ICRC issue, citing unconfirmed intelligence reports, said that Parad and two of his men might have been wounded or even killed during the hour-long gunfight.

Tan added, however, that Swiss Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni, and Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba, were not with the bandits that the soldiers encountered

“They are safe and as of the latest information that we have, they are in good condition,” Tan said.

He added that the three hostages have adequate food and medicines.

Tan is the head of TasK Force ICRC, tasked to facilitate the release of the three hostages who have been with their abductors for two months.

Katherine Evangelista and Julie Alipala, INQUIRER.net/PDI Mindanao Bureau

Published in: on March 17, 2009 at 12:27 pm  Comments Off on Abu captor of ICRC workers hurt–police  
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