Islamic Criminal Who Kidnapped Italian Priest Killed

Philippino Security forces in Zamboanga, Western Mindanao, shot dead Samad Awang, one of the captors of Italian missionary Father Giancarlo Bossi.

Awang was the leader of a Moslem group. Policemen, backed by soldiers, tracked him down in his hideout early Wednesday. When Awang attacked them, he was killed.

Father Bossi was kidnapped from his seminary in the town of Payao, Mindanao, in June 2007. He was freed forty days later, likely after a ransom was paid.

Foreigners and their Filipino spouses in this area are warned to stay vigilant against threats of kidnapping because criminal elements may strike anywhere or at any time.

Father Bossi belonged to the Pontificio Istituto Missioni Estere (PIME). He died in September 2012 near Milan, Italy, at the age of 62, a year after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Known by his friends as the “gentle giant” because of his stature, Bossi spent 32 years in the Philipines.

After the kidnapping he was received by Benedict XVI. He has always defended his kidnappers saying that he was “treated well” and that he “prayed for them.”