DIRECTORATE for Integrated Police Operations (Dipo)-West operatives and policemen arrested an Abu Sayyaf bandit in Basilan province, a police official said Tuesday.

Senior Superintendent Antonio Mendoza, Basilan police director, identified the arrested Abu Sayyaf bandit as Sukri Hassan Itaurus alias Sukri Sali, a resident of Lamitan City, Basilan.

Mendoza said Itaurus was arrested by Dipo-west operatives and Basilan policemen around 9 a.m. Monday in the village of Baroy, Lamitan City on the strength of warrants of arrests issued by the courts of Basilan and Pasig City.

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Mendoza said Itaurus faces strings of criminal cases that include kidnapping and serious illegal detention to frustrated murder before the Basilan and Pasig City courts.

He said Itaurus was also involved in the June 2001 Lamitan siege, aside from series of kidnappings perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf group.

Itaurus, a follower of slain Abu Sayyaf leader Khadaffy Janjalani, now belongs to the group led by Isnilon Hapilon, one of the top five Abu Sayyaf leaders being sought by the United States government.

Itaurus was brought to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for further investigation and debriefing. (Bong Garcia)