Manila: The Philippine military on Monday said its killing of a "ruthless" Abu Sayyaf commander inflicted a big blow on the al Qaeda-linked network, as it pursued his
fellow militants on a remote island.
The military reported it shot dead six Abu Sayyaf members in the jungles of lawless Jolo island yesterday, including Albader Parad, who was the subject of a US government bounty.
"It is a big blow in the sense that he (Parad) is a very notorious and ruthless leader," Lieutenant General Benjamin Dolorfino, head of military forces in the south, told a news agency by telephone.
"He always played a big role as far as the effectiveness and capability of the group is concerned and the group always reflects the personality of the leader."
Parad is alleged to have led an Abu Sayyaf cell that kidnapped and threatened to behead three Red Cross workers on Jolo last year, before releasing them after many months.
The Abu Sayyaf was was set up in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden`s al Qaeda network, according to the Philippine military, and has been blamed for the nation`s
worst terrorist attacks.
These include the bombing of a passenger ferry in Manila Bay that killed over 100 people in 2004, as well as many kidnappings of foreigners and Filipinos in the Muslim- populated south of the country where it is based.