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More Philippine terror arrests

Phlippines map

A suspected militant accused of high-profile kidnappings of at least four Americans and dozens of Filipinos has been arrested in the Philippines.

The arrest of Hajer Sailani, an alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf militant gang, was reported by The Associated Press.

It follows the arrest last week of the leader of the deadly Rajah Solaiman group of Christian converts to Islam.

Officials are describing a current crackdown on militancy in the southern Philippines as a success.

Kidnappings and bombs

Mr Sailani, arrested in a shopping mall in Cotabato City, was linked to the kidnapping in 2000 of an American Muslim convert, Jeffrey Schilling.

He was also allegedly involved in the 2001 kidnapping of three Americans and 17 Filipino tourists at the Dos Palmas resort in Palawan.

The US missionary Gracia Burnham survived the year-long jungle captivity, but her husband Martin was killed during the military rescue in 2002.

The third American, Guillermo Sobero, was beheaded by the militants on Basilan Island.

Last week's capture of Dino-Amor Rosalejos Pareja, the alleged head of the Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM), occurred in Marawi City.

Mr Pareja, a skilled bomb-maker trained by Jemaah Islamiah militants Dulmatin and Umar Patek, was believed to be the last senior commander of the RSM at large.

Dino Amor Pareja of RSM, Manila, the Philippines 25 Aug 09
The militant leader Dino Amor Pareja was defiant after arrest

The RSM was founded in 1991 by Ahmed Islam Santos, who was arrested in October 2005 in Zamboanga City.

It was believed to have carried out the region's most deadly attack since the 2002 Bali bombings - the sinking in February 2004 of SuperFerry 14, sailing from Manila to Davao City, which killed 116 people.

Despite the ongoing crackdown, bombs continue to be found at malls, churches and recently, an airport, in the southern Philippines.

Meanwhile, an alleged member of Abu Sayyaf, Madhatta Haipe, was extradited to the US.



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