From GMA News (Apr 12): Ranking leader Furuji Indama among Abu Sayyaf dead in Basilan –Gazmin
Furuji Indama, a ranking leader of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in Basilan, was killed in the ongoing military operations in the island province, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Tuesday.
Interviewed at Villiamor Airbase, Gazmin said Indama was among the 25 terrorists killed in three days of military operations in Basilan that started on Saturday.
"Twenty five kasama na si Furuji," Gazmin said when asked for an update on the number of fatalities on the enemy side.
However, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla later in the day clarified that Indama was not among those killed in the clashes, and that the death toll on the enemy side was only 24.
Indama is described as a "high-value target" as he was the "No. 2 man" of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon.
On Saturday, the military lost 18 of its men in an ambush staged by the Abu Sayyaf in Tipo-Tipo town.
The ensuing sporadic clashes, meanwhile, resulted in the death of four terrorists, including a Moroccan national described as a bomb expert. On Sunday, the military, citing information from "sources" on the ground, claimed that the Abu Sayyaf death toll has reached 13. By Monday, it has climbed to 25.