Google map of Lamitan City, Basilan.

LAMITAN CITY, Basilan – A bomb courier formerly identified with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was killed and another suspect escaped in a shootout with government troops in this city, military officials said Thursday.

Brigadier Gen. Domingo Gobway, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Basilan commander, said Adil Akarab was killed in a shootout with the troops late Wednesday in Barangay Sabong here.

Lt. Col. Cyril Santander, 18th Infantry Battalion commander, said the Akarab had joined with a group of lawless elements after his stint with the Basilan-based terrorist group.

Prior to the shootout, Gobway said soldiers received information that two lawless elements will be transporting an improvised explosive device (IED) from Tipo-Tipo municipality to this city.

“Upon receiving the report, all checkpoints were advised to conduct intensified checkpoint operation,” Gobway said.

He said the shootout broke out after the troops cornered the suspects in a pursuit operation. Soldiers recovered a sack containing an IED and an M-16 Armalite rifle with ammunition.

The other suspect driving the motorcycle, Gobway said, managed to escape.

According to Santander, the suspect had intended to set off the bomb during the culmination of the “Lami-Lamihan” celebration here Wednesday.

Major Nurhaib Bungkac, city police chief, said they turned over early Thursday the suspect's remains to his relatives for interment in accordance with Islamic law. (PNA)