Wife of high-ranking terror leader wounded in Marawi City clash
ILIGAN CITY—The wife of the second highest ranking leader of the terror group Dawlah Islamiyah (DI) had been wounded in a clash with government troops that killed her husband at a village in Marawi City on Monday (April 12).
Other members of the terror group are now being hunted following the clash which also wounded six government troopers.
Col. Rex Derilo, Lanao del Sur police chief, said the wounded troopers—a soldier from the 82nd Infantry Battalion and five members of the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police—are now safe and being treated at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC).
Khalil Mufliha, wife of the slain terror leader, Usop Nasif aka Abu Asraf, was seriously wounded and rushed to the same hospital as the government troopers. She, however, would be moved to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City.
Nasif is second in command of DI, a group linked to Islamic State (IS), to its leader Abu Zacaria, who is based in Lanao del Sur.
Nasif was declared dead on arrival at the APMC, where he was brought after the 30-minute gunfight. Derilo said authorities believed Nasif had companions who managed to escape.
Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, 103rd Infantry Brigade commander, said Nasif was the prime suspect in the killing of three policemen and three soldiers early this year. He was also involved in the killing of civilians, said Cuerpo.
Found in the possession of Nasif was a 9 mm pistol issued to the late TSgt Lito S. Polines, of the 553rd Engineering Battalion, who was murdered on Oct. 5, 2019 at the village of Malutlut.
Lt. Col. Elmer Oamil, commanding officer of the 553rd Engineering Battalion, said Polines was shot dead on his way to a temporary camp at Abbas gymnasium at the village of Moncado Kadingilan in Marawi City after he and other soldiers delivered 100 sacks of rice for evacuees in the city.
Nasif’s hideout was tipped off by residents in Marawi who feared their lives and property were in danger with the DI leader around.
Soldiers, according to Oamil, were on the hunt for Nasif’s copanions. “We encourage residents to report their presence,” Oamil said.
Earlier, PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas announced Nasif’s death in the clash.
Sinas said Nasif was subject of warrants of arrest for three cases of murder and frustrated murder issued by the Lanao del Sur Regional Trial Court Branch 12.
The PNP chief said Nasif and several unidentified male companions engaged government troopers in a 30-minute firefight.
Seized after the clash were 130 Armalite bullets, 12 9 mm shells, an XRM motorcycle, a Glock pistol, an improvised explosive device with battery clip, a landmine, two grenades and several bomb components.
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