ZAMBOANGA CITY, September 16, 2003 (STAR) By Roel Pareño  - Sulu Governor Yusop Jikiri survived an ambush staged by suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen in a remote village in Jolo island, while one of his police escorts was killed, the military reported yesterday.

The military said that about 70 suspected Abu Sayyaf men opened fire on the official convoy of Jikiri in sitio Manang, Bgy. Dayuan, Indanan town.

The Armed Forces Southern Command reported that Jikiri and his party came from an inauguration and turn-over ceremonies of seaweed dryers, and settlement of a family feud when they were ambushed at about 7:30 p.m.

Jikiri survived the surprise attack but one of his escorts, PO1 Jainal Yaser, was killed by the barrage from assault weapons.

Jikiri‘s security escorts reportedly retaliated but it was not immediately known if there were casualties or wounded among the attackers.

The attack was the second attempt on Jikiri’s life. Early this year, he also survived an ambush staged by the Abu Sayyaf group in Talipao town.

The Southcom disclosed that a day prior to the attack, an intelligence unit monitored movement of about 70 fully armed Abu Sayyaf guerrillas under Galib Andang alias Commander Robot and Albader Parad and the Misuari Breakaway Group (MBG).

The rebels were monitored traversing the area where the ambush was staged.

The 104th Army Brigade under Col. Alexander Yapching is now tracking down the armed group that ambushed Jikiri and his party.

Meanwhile, government troops captured two Abu Sayyaf gunmen and seized chemicals used in making explosives elsewhere in the south, the military said.

Idris Wahid and Nain Yusop were arrested on Saturday at a hotel in Zamboanga, military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Lucero said.

Soldiers raided an Abu Sayyaf hideout near the town of Patikul on Sunday and seized assorted chemicals and detonators used in manufacturing homemade bombs. — With AFP

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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