(From AFP)

The leader of a southern Philippine gang behind the kidnapping of an Australian ex-soldier and an Irish priest was shot dead by security forces on Sunday, the military said.

Then Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (L) shakes hands with freed Irish priest Michael Sinnott in Manila in 2009

Waning Abdusalam was killed after he resisted arrest by a combined military and police team in the strife-torn island of Mindanao, said military spokesman Major Filemon Tan.

The suspect was gunned down in the town of Naga in Zamboanga Sibugay province. He may have had links to the Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim extremist group known for kidnapping foreigners and Christians, said Tan.

The Abu Sayyaf, founded with seed money from Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States. It has been blamed for the worst terror attacks in Philippine history. Read More

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