3 suspected terrorists killed in S. Philippines
Three suspected supporters of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISI) were killed during an encounter with the authorities in Sarangani province in southern Philippines Saturday afternoon.
Sarangani Provincial Police Office PO3 Ian Balandan, said Sunday the incident transpired around 5:02 pm at Upper Sitio Lebe, Brgy. Daliao, Maasim
Authorities identified the fatalities as Abu Sabana, Arthur Tagum, and Jumar Harib, allegedly involved in a grenade-throwing incident during a town fiesta.
According to initial report, a joint counter-terrorism operation of policemen and soldiers were conducted since Friday against Mohommad Jaafar Maguid alias Tokboy, leader of a new terror group named Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines.
An encounter between Special Action Force and five rear guards of the local terror group broke out resulting to the death of Tokboy’s three members.
“There were no casualties on the government's side,” Balandan said.
Seized from the site were rifles, grenade and a black flag with ISIS logo.
Army's 10th Infantry Batallion Commander Major Generl Rafael Valencia said Tokboy was able to escape during the firefight.
“Barangay Daliao is the hometown of Tokboy, time to time, he went there to visit his family,” he said.
He said that Ansar Al-Khalifa is not affiliated with the ISIS group and even the Bangsmoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
"On ISIS, every group is trying to affiliate with ISIS but we have not seen a concrete links for us to recognize them as a member or moving under the direction of ISIS," he added. Carmela Dionisio