GOVERNMENT forces killed six Abu Sayyaf men, including a senior leader, following a raid of a terrorist lair in Maimbung town in Sulu on early Sunday morning, a top military commander in Mindanao said.

A Marine soldier also died and three other government troops were wounded in a shootout at the village of Karawan around 6 a.m., said Lieutenant General Ben Dolorfino, commander of the AFP Western Mindanao Command.

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Dolorfino said Marine soldiers assaulted the lair following reports that a group of terrorist were holed up in the area, leading to a two-hour clash.

Killed in the clash were Abu Sayyaf leader Albader Parad and Abdulhan Jumdail, a bother of Abu Sayyaf leader Doctor Abu Pula, alias “Doctor Abu”.

Also killed were Abu Sayyaf members Simal Abtong, Omar Umbah, Hamilton Sadjael, and Udin Sirael.

Dolorfino said the death of Albader Parad is a “big blow” to the ragtag Abu Sayyaf, which has linkages to foreign terrorist organizations.

Also, he said this is a big accomplishment in the continuing campaign against terrorism.

“We have confirmed that one of the six bodies belong to Albader Parad as confirmed by four independent civilian sources,” said Dolorfino. He said the body of Parad and the others killed were brought to a Marine camp in Sulu.

Parad led a group of armed men that kidnapped ABS-CBN reporter Ces Drilon, her crew and a Mindanao university professor Octavio Dinampo in 2008. The crew was released by the group, reportedly, upon payment of a hefty sum of ransom.

Parad was also responsible for the kidnapping of the three staff workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross – a Swiss, an Italian and a Filipina - in the province last year. The three were either released or have escaped.

“This is a very significant gain in our campaign against terrorism. Albader is the most influential Abu Sayyaf leader. This is a big blow to them, his death,” said Dolorfino.

Parad is among the Abu Sayyaf personalities wanted by the US government, which has earmarked P1 million reward for his neutralization.

Also, the Philippine Government has raised a P7 million for his neutralization. (VR/Sunnex)