The remains of Khaddafy Janjalani the Abu Sayyaf leader are believed to have been discovered in the Philippines.
On July 16, 2000 Abu Sayyaf leaders Khaddafi Janjalani (2nd from left) and Radulan Sahiron (3rd from left) posed with fellow Abu Sayyaf rebels outside their jungle hideout in southern Philippines for this rare photo for the world to see. (AP PHOTO)
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Soldiers in the southern Philippines have uncovered the remains of a man thought to be the head of Abu Sayyaf, military sources have said.
The remains, found on Wednesday buried in a remote area on Jolo island, are thought to be those of Khaddafy Janjalani, a man who was the target of a US-backed manhunt and who had a $5m bounty on his head.
Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Caculitan, a Philippine marines spokesman, said DNA tests would be needed for confirmation.
Caculitan said.: “We are not yet officially confirming that it’s him. We are still waiting for the results of the DNA examination.”
He said the US was providing help in forensic tests and that he did not know when the results would be ready.
Former members of Abu Sayyaf who had surrendered helped troops find the site.
They said he had been carried there “dying” after having been shot in the neck, said Caculitan.
A former Abu Sayaff hostage, American Protestant missionary Gracia Burnham, said she anxiously awaits confirmation from the authorities. Her husband died during their rescue.