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Sayyaf militant captured in southern Philippines

(Xinhua)

13:54, January 21, 2012

COTABATO, Philippines, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Philippine security forces said on Saturday that they had captured an Al-Qaida-linked Muslim militant in the restive south.

Sonny Bakim Barahim, also known as Abu Ismael, a member of the military group Abu Sayyaf, was arrested by government troops in the southern city of Isabela in Basilan province, regional police commander Chief Beinvenido Latag said.

Barahim is wanted for involvement in a series of abductions in the region.

Basilan is a known bailiwick of the Abu Sayyaf, a militant group founded in the 1990s and has perpetrated a number of high- profile attacks, including kidnapping, bombing and beheading.

The Philippine military estimates the group, which has links with external terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida, at less than 400 members.

Currently, the Abu Sayyaf is holding Australian hostage Warren Richard Rodwell who was seized on Dec. 5 last year from his house in Green Meadows Subdivision, Upper Pangi village in Ipil town

The kidnappers earlier demanded at least 1 million pesos (22, 831 U.S. dollars) of ransom money.

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