Rescue of Chinese hostage ‘coincidental’—police

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/ 21 September)—The rescue of a Chinese hostage from an Abu Sayyaf camp was “coincidental,” Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, Police Regional Office 9 (PRO 9) director, disclosed on Friday.

FREED. Kidnapped victim Yuan-Kai Lin, a Chinese national, is flanked by police officers when he was presented to the media in Camp Batalla in Zamboanga City on Friday Sept. 21, 2012. The 38-year-old  Lin was rescued after policemen raided an Abu Sayyaf camp in Sitio Dulian, Barangay Duli-an Zamboanga City on Thursday. MindaNews photoYuan-Kai Lin, 38, (not Jampong Lin-Yuankai as earlier reported) was rescued Thursday when combined military and police forces stormed an Abu Sayyaf training camp in Sitio Dulian, Barangay Calabasa, this city.

Estilles said the troops immediately took possession of Yuan-Kai, who suddenly surfaced from one of the huts shouting “Chinese, Chinese” at the height of the firefight against the Abu Sayyaf bandits.

“We don’t have any idea that he was there,” Estilles said, noting that the main objective of the operation was the bandits’ training camp.

The raid by combined police and military forces Thursday on the Abu Sayyaf training camp resulted to the death of five people–four bandits and a woman—and the capture of another.

One of those killed was Termije Ajijul, a mid-level leader operating under the group of Abu Sayyaf leader Khair Mundos. The slain woman was Ajijul’s wife. Captured was Sambri Aslon Kamlon alias Abu Zaid.

A policeman was injured during the firefight, Estilles revealed.

Estilles said they have received information from civilians that four people, including Mundos, were wounded but managed to escape.

The United States Department of Justice is offering $500,000 for information leading to the arrest of Mundos for his role in the transfer of funds from the al-Qaeda terror network to the Abu Sayyaf bandits.

The troops have recovered four high-powered firearms, several rounds of ammunition, 14 backpacks owned by new Abu Sayyaf recruits, training manuals of the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah, cellular phones and other personal belongings, including hammocks.

Estilles said there were more than 10 huts inside the training camp.

Photographs taken by the raiding team showed that there are running trenches from one hut to the other.

“It is believed to be the training camp of the Abu Sayyaf bandits here in the region,” Estilles said.

He said several teenagers, believed to be the new recruits, are frequently sighted in the camp. Intelligence reports state that “it is in that place they indoctrinate them.”

“I am very happy. I am thankful to the Philippine police and military,” Yuan-Kai said when he was presented Friday to reporters at Camp Batalla.

Yuan-Kai begged off from answering further questions since he is not fluent in English.

Estilles said they learned from Yuan-Kai that he has been at the bandits’ camp since last July 6.

Yuan-Kai, along with another Chinese national identified as Jian Luo, 48, was kidnapped by six gunmen last June 4 from their rented house in Barangay F. L. Peña, Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Yuan-Kai and Jian are natives of Shenshen (not Guandong as earlier reported) China and are vice-president for operations and vice-president for finance, respectively, of Li-Lo Minerals Traders.

Jian was released at one of the local hotels last August 26 after reportedly paying a P5 million ransom.

The Chinese nationals had been frequenting the town of Kabasalan where they do business. (MindaNews)