Alleged Singaporean bomb expert, 20 killed in Maguindanao: military
Cotabato City ? The military said Sunday at least 21 armed Moro rebels, including an alleged Singaporean bomb expert with links to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), were killed in several operations in the province of Maguindanao.
Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, Western Mindanao Command spokesperson, said Singaporean Muhammad Ali bin Abdulrahman alias "Muawiyah," of the Jemaah Islamiyah; was killed during air and ground assault from March 13-16 in the outskirts of Datu Salibo town.
Petinglay said Esmael Abdulmalik, also known as "Abu Toraype," founder of the Dawlah Islamiyah Maguindanao and a brigade commander of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter, was killed.
"Validations are being made on persistent reports that these terrorists were killed in the well-planned, well-coordinated, and well-executed massive air and ground operations," Petinglay said.
She said 26 rebels were wounded in the attack concentrated in the village of Tee, a stronghold of the BIFF.
Major General Carlito Galvez, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command chief, said Abdulrahman led a reported ISIS cell in Central Mindanao.
"With the recent successful operations, the AFP has dealt a severe blow on the reported ISIS cell in Central Mindanao. We are also confident that their bomb making capability was seriously degraded if not negated," Galvez said in a statement. Abdulrahman has a $500,000 reward on his head. DMS