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MANILA, Philippines – The military is verifying reports that Australian kidnap victim Warren Rodwell has been moved by his captors from Basilan to Sulu, supposedly in an attempt to turn him over to ranking leaders of the Abu Sayyaf group based in the island-province.
In a statement released to media on Wednesday, January 11, Western Mindanao Command (WMC) information officer Lt Col Randolf Cabangbang said that “the Basilan (based) Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) attempted to transfer” Rodwell to Sulu province last January 7.
Accordingly, Rodwell was to be turned over to Radulan Sahiron, known to be among the most notorious leaders of the ASG in Sulu.
“However, Sahiron refused to take custody of Rodwell since his group recently lost their lair at Sinumaam Complex in Patikul, Sulu,” said Cabangbang.
Recent offensives initiated by Philippine Marine troops in Sulu reportedly dismantled alleged camps of the ASG in Sulu, causing the bandits to “scatter.”
Citing “reliable assets” from the military’s intelligence community, the statement added that a certain Razmier Alih, an ASG leader based in Sumisip, Basilan accomplanied Rodwell to Sulu. – Rappler.com