Notorious Philippine kidnap gang leader dies

AP News
Posted: Sep 10, 2011 4:35 AM
Notorious Philippine kidnap gang leader dies

The Philippines military says the leader of a notorious kidnapping gang has died after a long illness.

Regional military spokesman Lt. Col. Leopoldo Galon says Tahir Alonto of the Pentagon Gang died early Saturday of ailments and complications from diabetes.

His Muslim separatist group is on a U.S. list of terrorist organizations. Philippine soldiers captured Alonto in 1999, but his men attacked the jail to free him in 2000.

The military had reported Alonto was killed in an air strike in 2004. Later reports said he was alive, but it was unclear if the military confirmed it before now.

Galon says Alonto "was no longer significant" in the kidnapping gang.