Senior ASG-IS leader, 2 cohorts killed in Basilan raid

By Nonoy Lacson 

ISABELA CITY, Basilan Province – A senior member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)-Islamic State (IS) and two of his men were killed in a dawn raid Friday by police and military authorities in Mohammad Ajul town here.

Four other members of the group were wounded, according to a senior police official, who asked not to be identified.

The officials said the police and military raided the hideout of Hajan Apino, alias Abu Omar, in Sitio Talesey, Barangay Cadiis, Hadji Mohammad Ajul municipality at about 2:20 a.m.

He said Apino was a senior member of the ASG and IS, and that he had two standing warrant of arrest for robbery in band with multiple homicide, and frustrated homicide and double murder.

According to the police official Apino and two of his gunmen tried to resist arrest that resulted in their being killed, while the four others, who were wounded, were arrested.

Apino was reportedly a senior lieutenant under the command of IS-Philippines Deputy Emir Furuji Indama, and was involved in the July 31, 2019 suicide attack in Lamitan City, Basilan.

While the troops were scouring the area, Apino’s followers fired at the raiding team from the northeast direction which prompted the troops to return fire.

He police source also said the IS-Philippines Network associated with Apino was planning to attack vital installations in the Zamboanga Peninsula or Region 9.

The raid was a joint effort of police and military authorities to prevent Apino’s group from carrying out their plan, the source added.