THE man, suspected to be a leader of a kidnap-for-ransom group (KFRG), who was killed in a recent police operation turned out to be the wrong guy, a police official said Wednesday.

However, Zamboanga City Police Director Edwin de Ocampo insisted that the raid was a legitimate operation and that the slain person has opened fire at the raiding team.

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Latest investigation said the slain person turned out to be Emol Gailin, a retired soldier, not a Jun Akilan, a member of the Pingli Akilan group.

De Ocampo explained that Gailin was killed during a running gun battle between the raiding team and the Pingli Akilan group.

"Nagkaroon ng running gun battle at pinaputukan din niya (Gailin) yong tropa," De Ocampo said.

He said the raid was carried out around 7:30 a.m. last Sunday after it was confirmed that the Pingli Akilan group was in Sacol Island.

He said the group was about to stage kidnapping anew in this southern port city but did not disclosed who could be the possible target.

He added that Sacol Island serves as a staging point of kidnapping and other atrocities of the Pingli Akilan group, involved in previous kidnappings in the city.

Among the victims of the Pingli Akilan group is a businessman who was kidnapped on May 27, 2008 and freed 13 days later.

The police are still looking into the possible involvement of the Akilan group to the kidnapping of three public school teachers and a retired soldier in this southern port city.

The three teachers were kidnapped on January 23, 2009 while the retired soldier was seized last February 6. (Bong Garcia)