Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf Leader Killed in Philippines
Jainal Antel Sali Jr. was killed in clashes with army special forces.
Philippine Armed Forces Chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. announces the killing of wanted Abu Sayyaf leader Jainal Antel Sali Jr., also known as Abu Sulaiman, during a hastily called news conference at their headquarters at suburban Quezon city north of Manila, Philippines Wednesday Jan. 17, 2007. Abu Sulaiman, with a $5-million U.S. Dollars reward for his capture, dead or alive, was killed in an encounter with Philippine Army Special Forces in Jolo in southern Philippines Tuesday Jan. 16. Sulaiman’s body is projected on the screen. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Special forces killed the leader of Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines on Tuesday:
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AFP) – The Philippines military said on Wednesday it had killed Abu Solaiman, a man it described as the most important leader of the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group.
General Hermogenes Esperon, chief of staff of the Philippine armed forces, said Solaiman masterminded a string of attacks including a February 2004 ferry firebombing that left more than 100 people dead in the country’s worst terror incident.
He described him also as a “principal planner” of the May 2001 abduction of American Christian missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham and Peru-born Californian Guillermo Sobero.
The two men were killed in captivity in the southern Philippines but Gracia Burnham was later rescued.
The US government had posted a five-million-dollar bounty for Solaiman, an engineer by training whose real name is Jainal Antel Sali, over the abductions on the western island of Palawan.
The reported death of Solaiman, also wanted by the Philippine authorities for a string of other kidnappings and bombings, followed the supposed killing last month of Khadaffy Janjalani, the Abu Sayyaf group’s most senior leader.
Authorities have still not discussed the DNA testing on the remains of Khaddafy Janjalani, the Abu Sayyaf leader believed to have been discovered in the Philippines in December.
Khadafi Janjalani had warrants out for his arrest for one count of murder, one count of armed robbery, and ten counts of kidnapping.