ZAMBOANGA CITY — Troops have recovered three high-powered firearms in an operation to rescue a child seized by Abu Sayyaf bandits in Tawi-Tawi on June 25, the military reported Tuesday.
Lt. Col. Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, said the firearms — one M-16 Armalite and two M-14 rifles and ammunitions, as well as military and police uniforms, were recovered in Sitio Kambal, Barangay Pang, Kalingalan Caluang, Sulu at about 5:50 a.m. Tuesday.
Besana said the operation was launched following reports that the child, Radzmalyn Asta, 7, was seen in Kambal, Barangay Pang.
However, he disclosed that the operation “yielded negative presence of the KV (kidnap victim) in the area.”
Asta was seized by a group of Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sitio Polao Pinang, Barangay Himba, Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi in the evening of June 25.
Asta’s father, Rahim, put up a fight that resulted in a brief shootout but failed to prevent the abduction of his daughter. The victim’s mother, Rahsa Malyn, was wounded after she was hit in the crossfire during the shootout.
The Abu Sayyaf bandits, who pretended to buy gasoline at the establishment of the Asta family, escaped on board a motorboat towards the direction of Sulu, bringing the child with them.
Besana said the Joint Task Force Sulu has intensified pursuit and intelligence operations to track down the bandits and rescue the victim.(PNA)
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