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Timbog Sa Checkpoint Ang Bodyguard Ng ASG Leader Na Si Isnilon Hapilon!

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Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon's close escort was arrested today by authorities in a checkpoint of the coastal village east of this Zamboanga city.

Anti-terror Joint Task Force Zamboanga (JTFZ) chief Col. Leonel Nicolas, identified the suspect as Hamsi Amajad Marani.

Nicolas said Marani was captured by military and police personnel in Barangay Muti about 1:30 a.m.

Marani was arrested after he was spotted by residents who immediately alerted the authorities.

Nicolas said Marani is described as a notorious member of the Abu Sayyaf and a bomber trained by an Indonesian Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) militant.

Nicolas  the arresting team recovered improvised bomb-making paraphernalia from Marani, who is believed to have been involved in clashes against government forces in Sulu and Basilan provinces.

The military has yet to find out if Marani was with Hapilon in Marawi or was sent to Zamboanga City for a diversionary attack.

The fugitive Hapilon is said to be the emir of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Philippines and believed to be leading his fighters and of the Maute group in Marawi City, where clashes have been ongoing since May 23.

Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. lauded the security forces for arresting Marani.

"The capture of Marani will somehow cripple any possible support being given by Marani to Hapilon as he struggles to leave Marawi for safety,” Galvez said.
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