Terror suspect with IS links killed in clash that also wounded soldiers, civilians
ZAMBOANGA CITY—A suspected member of a homegrown terror group with Islamic State (IS) links was killed in a 30-minute clash that also wounded two soldiers and three civilians at dawn on Sunday (Sept. 6) in a town in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Capt. Sotero Abrito III, spokesperson of the Army’s 102nd Brigade, said soldiers from the 44th Infantry Battalion and police from Zamboanga Sibugay raided the hideout in Alicia town, Zamboanga Sibugay of Furuji Indama, a leader of the Dawlah Islamiya-Abu Sayyaf Group based in Basilan.
Indama is wanted for involvement in the kidnapping of several foreigners and Filipinos in the Dos Palmas resort, Palawan province in 2001.
Abrito said there were two clashes between the terror suspects and soldiers in Alicia, which wounded two soldiers.
The body of a certain Idris Aquilon, believed to be a close associate of Indama and member of another group called Sahibad, was found during clearing operations. Soldiers found rifle grenades, a magazine, bandolier, explosives and ammunition in the site of the clashes.
Three civilians wounded during the clash were immediately evacuated to the nearest hospital for treatment, Abrito said.
He said the local governments of the town and province were caring for the families of those wounded.
Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., Western Mindanao Command chief, said the clashes were the offshoot of the command’s continuing mission to bring more pressure bearing down on terrorist groups in the area in a bid to end terrorism in western and central Mindanao.
Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, commander of the anti-terror Joint Task Force Zampelan, said he believed that aside from Aquilon, a number of Sayyaf members were also wounded.
Vinluan said the military was still giving members of the local terror groups a chance to surrender.
“We still encourage them to lay down their arms and finally have peace in the region,” he said.
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