Gov’t forces neutralize 2 fugitives in Basilan

by Warren Ryan Revoltar

Two jail escapees were killed in an armed confrontation in Basilan on Sunday afternoon, October 18, 2020.

“Based on the report from the ground, our troops from the 4th Special Forces Battalion were conducting pursuit operation at Rubber-land Resort in Barangay Cabunbata, Isabela City to possibly apprehend the fugitives of the jailbreak which transpired on October 13 when they sighted the two in the area,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan., Jr., WestMinCom Commander.

“Becoming aware of the presence of the military troops, the two fugitives initiated a firefight which forced the soldiers to retaliate,” the commander narrated.

According to Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr., the two sustained gunshot wounds in the five-minute exchange of fires which resulted in their instantaneous death.

No casualty was reported on the government side.

“Based on the initial results of the investigation, the killed fugitives were identified as Nurhassan Lahaman, a former LTG member that was imprisoned for the case of murder; and Battuh Kusain Murag, also a former LTG member that was involved in the Lamitan City bombing on July 30, 2018, and was imprisoned for the case of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder,” said Col. Domingo Gobway, JTF Basilan Commander.

“Our troops immediately coordinated with the Scene of the Crime Operatives for further investigation,” Col. Gobway added.

Recovered from the killed fugitives were one M653 rifle with a short magazine and 17 ammunition, and one caliber 45 pistols with a magazine and 7 ammunition.

Meanwhile, on October 14, one of the escapees identified as Mahad Hassan was apprehended by the government forces in Barangay Calvario of the same city.

“The military and the police are in hot pursuit of the remaining escapees. We cannot deny the fact that they are familiar with the terrain, but, we are maximizing our efforts to expedite the arrest of the remaining fugitives the soonest possible,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan added. — Press release courtesy of Western Mindanao Command

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