Malaysian fisherman shot while fleeing Abu Sayyaf abductors, now critical

Military armoured personnel carriers patrolling a highway in Mindanao. Jari was found critically injured yesterday on Simusa Island. — AFP pic
Military armoured personnel carriers patrolling a highway in Mindanao. Jari was found critically injured yesterday on Simusa Island. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Malaysian fisherman Jari Abdullah, 34, is fighting for his life after being rescued by Philippine security forces during a gunfire exchange with Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippines yesterday.

Minda News, a Mindanao-based news portal today reported Jari was found critically injured by the Philippine Marine Battalion Landing Team 3 about 4.25pm yesterday on Simusa Island.

The Malaysian hostage was escaping from his Abu Sayyaf captors and had been shot in the head and chest.

“The kidnap victim tried to escape from his captors during the firefight but was shot by the Abu Sayyaf,” the Philippine daily quoted Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Gerry Besana saying.

He added that Jari was airlifted to the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Hospital in Jolo for medical treatment at about 7pm yesterday.

Jari, a father of three, from a village in Sim-Sim, near Sandakan, Sabah was forcibly taken from a fishing trawler near Pegasus Reef and the Philippines’ Tawi-Tawi chain of islands by the Abu Sayyaf alongside Indonesians Heri Ardiansyah, 19, and Hariadin, 45 last December 15.

According to Minda News, the two Indonesians are still being held captive.

The abductors were reported to have issued a ransom demand in a video clip posted online a few days later, threatening to behead their hostages if their wishes were not met.

The ransom amount was not mentioned. However, Sabah paper The Daily Express cited Indonesian consul-general to Sabah Krishna Djaelani saying on February 13 that the Abu Sayyaf had demanded 10 billion rupiah or RM3 million for their release.

Jari’s wife Nadin Junianti Abdullah, 25, has been reported by several media as having been contacted at least twice for his ransom, and asked the government for help to secure his release.

Sabah police chief Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah was reported by The Star on February 20 saying Malaysian police were working with their Philippines counterparts to free the hostages.