CAMP CALARIAN, Zamboanga City—A suspected big-time drug lord, long wanted by authorities, was killed during a 10-minute gunfight with government authorities at dawn Wednesday during a buy-bust operation at their hideout in Sitio Canas, Barangay Calangcanas, Maluso town, Basilan.
Major Felimon Tan, Western Mindanao Command Information Officer, identified the slain drug lord as Abubakar Mohammad Alias Abubakar Asa.
Eight of Mohammad’s followers, whom authorities declined to name, were wounded and later apprehended.
Tan told media the soldiers initially engaged the lawless elements in a running gun battle at around 4:30 a.m. which later resulted in the killing of Mohammad.
The government operatives, Tan said, were able to seize two M-16 Armalite rifles, one M-203 grenade launcher, two .22 caliber pistol, one rifle grenade, several rounds of ammunition, some 50 sachets of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally called shabu, and other prohibited drug paraphernalia.
Mohammad’s men were later turned over to Maluso Municipal Police Station for the filing of appropriate charges against them, Tan added.
According to Tan, the buy-bust operation, carried out after a week-long surveillance, was jointly undertaken by elements of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Maluso Police Station, Marine Battalion Landing Team-11 and 4th Special Forces Battalion.
Police reports from Basilan said Mohammad, together with his men, virtually controls illegal drug pushing and distribution in several municipalities of the island province.
Some of their alleged clients are high school and college students.