GOVERNMENT forces in Zamboanga City are pursuing the captivity of Umbra Jumdail alias Dr. Abu Pula of the Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu province, a military official said Wednesday.

Brigadier General Rustico Guerrero, chief of Sulu-based Joint Task Force Comet (JTFC), said the troops are scouring the hinterlands of Sulu in pursuit of Dr. Abu Pula's group.

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Members of the bandit group managed to flee during a firefight with government forces in an Abu Sayyaf camp last Sunday morning that resulted in the death of six terrorists, including two leaders.

Killed in last Sunday's attack were Albader Parad and Abdulhaman Jumdail, the younger brother of Dr. Pula.

The other slain bandits were identified as Omar Umbah alias Ben Kuting, Hamilton Sadjael, Udin Serael, and Simal Abtong, a nephew of Dr. Abu Pula.

Guerrero said Dr. Abu Pula's group is composed of more or less 30 armed followers.

Guerrero has given direct orders to all his unit commanders to intensify security operations while the Abu Sayyaf bandits are suffering from leadership crises after the death of Parad and losses in terms of supplies and ammunitions after the intense firefight last Sunday.

Like Parad, Dr. Abu Pula was involved in the kidnapping of 21 people -- 11 Asians and 10 Europeans -- in April of 2000 from Sipadan diving resort in Malaysia.

The two were also involved in the kidnapping of three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross in January of 2009 in Patikul, Sulu.

The United States government, through its rewards for justice program, is offering $80,000 for the capture of Parad.

Aside from Dr. Abu Pula, the remaining leaders of the Abu Sayyaf are Isnilon Hapilon and Radulan Sahiron, who is the oldest among the bandits.