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AFP welcomes report of ISIS group chief‘s death

/ 06:31 PM July 12, 2017
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

This file image made from video posted on a militant website Saturday, July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq during his first public appearance. (Photo from a militant video via AP)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) welcomed on Wednesday the reported death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, group chief of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), saying it could pave the way for the Maute Group’s ultimate destruction.

“Maganda pong balita ito at magandang senyales po ito sa hinaharap (This is good news and pleasant sign in the future),” Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesperson, said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.

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“Dahil ang pinagkukunan po ng direksyon ng mga grupong nariyan po sa Marawi ay wala na, kanya’t maaantala po at masisira na ang imprastrakturang nanggagaling po dyan sa Gitnang Silangan at maaaring magbukas-daan sa tuluy-tuloy na pagbagsak nitong grupong ito,” Padilla added.

(“Because the person giving direction to the groups in Marawi is gone, then the infrastructure coming from the Middle East will be interrupted and destroyed, and this can pave the way for the consequent breakdown of this group.”)

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Baghdadi ordered the Maute terrorist group to establish a caliphate in the Philippines, resulting in the Marawi siege last May 23.

The report of death came from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a longtime conflict monitor, saying it had heard from senior ISIS leaders that Baghdadi was dead.

Baghdadi’s death marks another devastating blow to the jihadist group after its loss of Mosul in Iraq. On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi pronounced victory over the militants in Mosul after nearly nine months of grueling combat.

Meanwhile, asked about the possibility of an invastion of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia, Padilla said the Philippine government had taken precautionary measures with neighboring countries to ensure safety and security in the land.

“Atin pong sinimulan ang pakikipagtulungan sa lahat ng mga bansa dito sa region natin,” he said. “At nagsimula na po tayo sa Malaysia, Indonesia, at ipinapaigting ang ating mga security measures upang mapangalangaan po ang pagpasok ng sinumang nanggaling sa Gitnang Silangan.”

(“We have begun joint efforts with all the countries in our regioin. We started with Malaysia, Indonesia, and reinforced security measures to screen entry of anyone coming from the Middle East.”) –Rogelio Nato Jr., INQUIRER.net intern /atm

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TAGS: Abu Bakr al-baghdadi, AFP, Marawi siege, Maute group, Restituto Padilla, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
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