Kidnap-for-ransom leader Abdulgani “Waning” Abdusalam died in November after government troops assaulted his lair in Zamboanga Sibugay, a police official said Thursday.

Director Felicisimo Khu, head of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao (DIPO-WM), said his office was able to confirm Abdusalam’s death Tuesday, when an Imam (Muslim priest) issued an affidavit saying that the former had indeed died.

“The Imam who officiated his (Abdusalam) interment issued the affidavit,” Khu said in a phone interview.

After Abdusalam died on November 6, his wife sought the imam’s service for the interment and brought the latter to Sitio Kalang, Brgy. Sangali, Zamboanga City, where her husband’s body lay, the police official said.

Abdusalam was buried the next day on Maubuh Island in Brgy. Panubigan, Zamboanga City, according to Khu.

Abdusalam and his group, which operated in the Zamboanga Peninsula, were subjected to continuous police and military operations from October 15.

The operation intensified a few days later, with Air Force planes dropping bombs and the Army sending elite troops to capture Abdusalam’s lair in Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay.

The assault in ended on October 27, with government forces recieving information that Abdusalam was badly wounded and barely able to walk.

“He died later, after suffering bullet wounds on both thighs,” Khu said. (John Roson)

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