ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Philippine officials arrested a top Abu Sayyaf rebel Wednesday and disclosed that they had captured another insurgent who was allegedly on a mission to set up terrorist operations in the capital.
Mustala Amil was arrested on Basilan island, where the Abu Sayyaf is holding hostages--including Americans--snatched from a resort in late May. Amil was shot and wounded Wednesday while resisting arrest, said the local police chief, Ahmadul Pangambayan.
Officials had offered a $20,000 reward for Amil's arrest in connection with several abductions last year, but it was not clear whether he was involved in the May kidnappings.
Amil is believed to be a logistics officer of the Abu Sayyaf, which says it is fighting for Muslim independence in the south. The government calls it a gang of bandits out to make money through kidnappings.
Also Wednesday, military officials leaked a confidential report that discussed a plot by Abu Sayyaf guerrillas to spread terror into Manila, the capital, far to the north of the hostage-taking and combat in the south.
Harsim Abdulajid was arrested June 17 while trying to set up safe houses and carry out bombing attacks, the report said. He admitted that he was a member of the Urban Intelligence Unit of the Abu Sayyaf group, the report said.