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Philippines Claims Capture of Missionary Kidnapper

Filipino officials claim the capture of yet another militant with ties to al-Qaida, whom allegedly was involved with the 2001 Dos Palmas resort kidnapping of three American citizens, including a missi
( [email protected] ) May 01, 2006 11:33 PM EDT

Filipino officials claim the capture of yet another militant with ties to al-Qaida, whom allegedly was involved with the 2001 Dos Palmas resort kidnapping of three American citizens, including a missionary couple.

Absail Malangka Dima, was apprehended by military intelligence agents, following a $2,880 bounty that was placed on his head. He was captured in Isabela, the capital of the southern island province of Basilan, as stated in a report issued by the Filipino military’s Southern Command.

Dima was known as Abu Madi, while serving as an operative under Abu Sayyaf commander Hamsiraji Sali, whom was killed during a clash with government soldiers in 2004.

The 2001 abduction of Martin and Gracia Burham ended with Martin Burnham’s death during an army commando rescue operation. Burham’s wife was wounded but later recovered.

In a separate incident, fellow abductee, Guillermo Sobero, was later found decapitated. 17 other Filipinos kidnapped in the 2001 raid remain unaccounted for at this present date.

Early this week, military intelligence also reported the arrest of Sharie Amiruddin, who has been accused with planning the resort kidnappings, as well as several bombing.

Kidnappings remain rampant in the island nation of 84 million people, where 44 abductions were reported to the police and government agencies just last year. Still a vast majority of the kidnappings go unreported, said an annual report issued by the Pacific Strategies and Assessments, an Asia-based consultancy group.

The 2001 kidnapping resulted in the U.S. deploying Special Forces advisors to train and arm soldiers stationed in southern Philippines, where most of the fighting against Islamic militants have occurred.