Abu Sayyaf abductee killed in firefight

KOTA KINABALU: One of the five Indonesian fishermen kidnapped from Sabah’s Lahad Datu district earlier this year is believed to have been killed in a firefight on Sept 28.

Regional intelligence sources said that the victim was in a group together with Abu Sayyaf-linked gunmen when the shootout occurred.

The victim whose identity has yet to be ascertained was accidentally killed during the incident.

He is among the five Indonesian fishermen who were abducted in waters between Tambisan and Kuala Meruap in Lahad Datu close to the Philippines' sea border on Jan 16 this year.

Efforts are being made to contact Sabah security forces on this matter.

In April, they were “released" by their Abu Sayyaf captors but were "held" again by another group that facilitated their release.

Sources said intermediaries for families of the Indonesian hostages had "agreed" to the demands of a key Abu Sayyaf kidnap group led by sub commando Mike Apo who released them to Abu Sayyaf linked middlemen.

However, the source said that the "middlemen" were now holding the hostages and demanding extra payment.

The source explained that negotiations were now being carried out with a Jolo-based "middlemen" led by a woman, once closely associated with a powerful Moro National Liberation Front leader.

For now, the source said the middlemen were demanding for additional cost incurred for the release and negotiations were still ongoing.

The fishermen were taken by six gunmen dressed in black overalls from their Sabah registered trawler during the 8pm incident on Jan 16.

The kidnapped crewmen were the trawler's skipper Arsyad Dahlan, 41, La Baa, 32, Riswanto Hayano, 27, Edi Lawalopo, 53, and Syarizal Kastamiran, 29.

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