Five members of the Abu Sayyaf Group were killed in a foiled attempt to kidnap a businesswoman in Sulu, the military said.
Joint Task Group Sulu chief Col. Allan Arrojado said seven bandits seized Guankim Lim Maujon, 48, from her seaside residence in Barangay Tampakam Laminusam, town of Siasi around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
According to various sources, the abductors, led by a certain Salip Mira who has links with Abu Sayyaf sub-leaders Alhabsy Misaya, Idang Susukan, Yasser Igasan, and Anggah Adji, lost five of their members in separate clashes.
Senior Inspector Annidul Sali, the police chief of Parang in Sulu, said the first casualty among the bandits was killed in a shootout with the victim’s husband and bodyguards.
Sali said another bandit was killed the next day when joint operatives of the military, police, and the BPAT (Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team) went after the fleeing suspects.
On Thursday, three more militants were slain as they engaged in a firefight against BPAT members who pursued them as they tried to flee on a pump boat with Maujon onboard.
Maujon was later found floating in the waters between Parang and Tapul towns around 5:30 a.m. of the same day.
She had gunshot wounds on her chest and left ankle and was immediately brought to a hospital in Jolo. She was later airlifted to a hospital in Zamboanga City for further treatment.