Police and military intelligence operatives have arrested a member of the Abu Sayyaf, and another man suspected of involvement in the Al Qaeda-linked group who kidnapped two Malaysian hostages, and beheaded one of them last month.
Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Group Sulu, told local reporters that one of the men -- Kadaffy Muktadil Kamsa -- was arrested Friday in the Integrated Provincial Health Office hospital in Barangay Asturias, Jolo where he had been confined with injuries suffered in a vehicle accident.
He said authorities had issued a warrant Tuesday for Kamsa, who is tagged as one of those responsible for the kidnapping of Thien Nyuk Fun and Bernard Then Ted Fen from a restaurant in Sabah in May.
Two of Kamsa's cohorts escaped after sensing police operatives in area prior to Friday's operation, added Arrojado.
While Thien was freed Nov. 8 after a ransom was reportedly paid, a street sweeper found a head inside a sack bearing the words "Bernard Then Ted Fen" dumped inside the city walls of Jolo, the capital of the Abu Sayyaf stronghold of Sulu, in November.
The military confirmed that Kamsa is a member of the Abu Sayyaf, who are also suspected in the kidnappings of two Canadians, a Norwegian and a Filipino from a resort in Samal Island, Davao del Norte Sept. 21.
On Friday, police also arrested a suspected Abu Sayyaf member near a jail in the predominantly Christian city of Zamboanga in the Philippines south.
Zamboanga City Police Office spokesperson Chief Inspector Joel Tuttuh, said Arasad Saidjuwan -- also known as Abu Sahid -- was arrested by security forces around 9.20 a.m. (0120GMT)
"The suspect has a standing warrant of arrest for kidnapping and serious illegal detention under criminal case number 3570," Tuttuh said.
Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf -- armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles -- has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortions in a self-determined fight for an independent Islamic province in the Philippines.
It is notorious for beheading victims after ransoms have failed to be paid for their release.