Abu Sayyaf member falls

AN ABU Sayyaf Group (ASG) member, who is facing charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, has been arrested by police and military operatives in a raid in Zamboanga City.

Senior Superintendent Angelito Casimiro, local police director, identified the arrested ASG member as Basit Balahim, who was arrested around 1:30 p.m. Friday in the village of Talabaan.

Balahim is facing charges for eight counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

A warrant of arrest has been issued by a court in Isabela City, Basilan province to arrest Balahim, the brother of Basilan-based ASG leader Puruji Indama.

Indama has been wanted by Philippine authorities for his alleged involvement in deadly bombings and kidnappings of several people, including a former Australian soldier who was freed in March 2013 after a ransom was paid. [Read the related story here.]

The charges against Balahim stemmed from his alleged involvement in the 2002 kidnapping of eight workers at the Golden Harvest Plantation in Tairan, Lantawan, Basilan, Casimiro said.

Some of the workers were killed while some have either escaped or rescued by the government forces.
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