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Terrorist leader among 11 killed in Maguindanao clash

MANILA, Philippines — A newly proclaimed “ameer” or chief of the Dawlah Islamiya-Philippines was among 11 terrorists killed in a firefight in Maguindanao del Sur on Friday, the military said yesterday.

The more than two-hour encounter in the hinterlands of Mother Tuayan, Datu Hoffer Ampatuan town was a major blow to the strength of the terror group, according to Lt. Gen. William Gonzales, chief of the Western Mindanao Comman (Westmincom).

Gonzales said the operation was launched by joint troopers of the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade and 1st Brigade Combat Team following information that the terrorists would gather in the area.

The military also confirmed the neutralization of the head of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maguindanao in the encounter. 

The remains of the two terrorist leaders were among the 11 that soldiers recovered in the area following the firefight.

The military has yet to identify the slain leaders as well as the nine other fatalities.

Gonzales said they have addressed the resurgence of the Dawlah Islamiya-Philippines. 

“We are maximizing our efforts to go after the remaining threat groups in our area of operation. Rest assured that we will continue to work hard to eliminate the threats and ensure the safety and security of the people of Mindanao,” Gonzales said.

“I commend the troops of Joint Task Force Central led by Maj. Gen. Alex Rillera for their resolve to end terrorism in Central Mindanao,” he added.

Meanwhile, in Lanao del Sur, another alleged leader of the Dawlah Islamiya was killed in an encounter in Piagapo town on Saturday.

Gonzales identified the fatality as Alandoni Macadaya Lucsadatu, alias Lando and Abu Shams.

Reports said Lucsadatu was among five terrorists who exchanged fire with the joint team of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion and 5Ist Infantry Battalion in Barangay Tambo.

The troopers arrested Lucsadatu’s aunt, identified as Saadia Dato Angni.

Gonzales said Lucsadatu recruited his relatives to the Dawlah Islamiya.

He said the slain suspect was allegedly behind the murder of Marow Lucsadatu Mocsara, a former member of the Dawlah Islamiya who surendered to the military in November.