A suspected member of the terrorist group Dawlah Islamiya was killed while two of his comrades were arrested by the military in an armed encounter in Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao on Saturday, July 17.
The slain terrorist was identified by the military as alias “Tong Bomber” while caught were Nondo Ado Sangalan and Tong Sangalan.
A soldier was also hurt in the crossfire and he was already receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital, said Lt. Col. Benjamin Cadiente, commanding oficer of the 33rd Infantry Battalion (33IB).
According to Cadiente, the 33IB received an intelligence report about a small group of Dawlah Islamiya terrorists spotted in Barangay Nabundas. He said this prompted them to conduct a counter-terrorism operation in the area.
The soldiers were then engaged by an undetermined number of armed men in a firefight just as they were approaching the village around 8 a.m., said Cadiente.
“While our troops were approaching the location of the suspected terrorists, we were met by heavy fires,” he stated.
The troops were forced to retaliate which led to the death of a suspected Dawlah Islamiya terrorist and the arrest of two others. Seized from them were an M14 rifle and two improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Cadiente said the body of the slain Dawlah Islamiya member was turned over to barangay officials for proper disposition while the captured suspects were placed under the custody of the local police for the filing of appropriate cases.
Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) Central, urged the remaining members of local terrorist groups in the area to surrender to the authorities and “live a peaceful and sustainable life with their family.”
He said the local government of Maguindanao recently distributed livelihood assistance to 17 former members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) to give them a second chance at living a peaceful life.