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No bodies recovered in Sulu air raid

No bodies have been retrieved following the air raid undertaken by the military in Sulu. The military was forced to admit this following clamor for proof of the reported killing of Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorists.

Military Spokesperson Col. Arnulfo Burgos said the military knew the location of the graves, which was in an area of the Moro National Liberation Front. “There is an effort to coordinate with local authorities for the cooperation of the relatives because we have to get DNA samples,” Burgos said.

Last February 2, the Armed Forces was quick to announce the killing in a predawn strike in Parang, Sulu of Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, a top leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror network; Abu Sayyaf leader Umbra Jumdail, aka Doc Abu or Abu Pula; and a Singaporean JI leader Abdullah Ali, alias Mauwiya.

Doc Abu had a bounty of PhP7.4 million on top of a US$140,000 reward offered by the US State Department for his involvement in the May 2001 kidnapping in the Dos Palmas resort in Palawan province.

Marwan, the 29th most wanted personality by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, carried a bounty of PhP7.4 million and US$5 million for multiple counts of kidnapping. Meanwhile, Mauwiya, a known JI contact, had a US$50,000 bounty for his capture.

Last week, Burgos announced names of eight other fatalities, but admitted that no bodies were found at the bombarded area. The eight were “Jumong,” a suspected Malaysian JI operative, Abu Sayyaf members Moammar Jumdail alias Ting who is said to be a son of Dr. Abu; Tati Jamhali, Tuan Nash Lipae, alias Leong, alias Teng, alias Muin and alias Julpe.

“We are not in possession of bodies right now, but we already have locations, some were taken deep into the MNLF territory,” Burgos said.