Wednesday Aug, 05 2020 01:31:32 AM

Authorities preparing for Dawlah Islamiya retaliations

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 16:00 PM Fri Jul 31, 2020
196
By: 
John M. Unson

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COTABATO CITY --- Authorities are bracing for retaliations by the Dawlah Islamiya following the deaths of two members in a drug sting in South Cotabato and nine more in a clash with soldiers in Maguindanao this week.

Dawlah Islamiya members Joven Cabalo and Dimas Talib were killed one after another in entrapment operations in Polomolok, South Cotabato that went haywire when they resisted arrest after selling methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) to plainclothes personnel of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-12 and the municipal police.

The separate anti-narcotics operations in Polomolok that resulted in the deaths of Cabalo and Talib were assisted by the Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion of the 601st Brigade under the 6th Infantry Division.

In a statement Saturday, the Police Regional Office-12 based in General Santos City said the South Cotabato provincial police is guarding against possible retaliations by the Dawlah Islamiya for the deaths of Cabalo and Talib, both followers of wanted terrorist Salahuddin Hassan.

Army Major Gen. Diosdado Carreon of 6th ID told reporters Saturday intelligence units have been mobilized to guard against possible attacks by the Dawlah Islamiya to avenge the deaths of nine members that personnel of the 57th Infantry Battalion killed in a spate of encounters Tuesday.

Two soldiers, Privates 1st Class Jovit Sarno and Raymond Canlog, were killed in the hostilities.

Sarno and Canlog were in a team that members of the Dawlah Islamiya, also known as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, attacked while on their way to an interior area in Barangay Penditen in Datu Salibo, Maguindanao to check on the reported presence there of gunmen led by the wanted bomber Hassan Indal, as if preparing for an attack.

Nine followers of Indal, Salim Bandas, Samir Pendi, Abubakar Andig, Kamarudin Hassan, Asmad Katib, Odin Tantung, Baseer Bader, Tumagantang Romado and a certain Anggutin were killed in the ensuing skirmishes that lasted for more than four hours.

Local leaders said Indal and his henchmen were first spotted by villagers late Monday in Barangay Penditen while plotting to attack government COVID-19 quarantine checkpoints in central Mindanao.

Two soldiers, a militiaman and a police officer have been killed, also by BIFF or Dawlah Islamiya members, while enforcing quarantine protocols in the neighboring Datu Hoffer, Radjah Buayan and Shariff Aguak towns as well as in Esperanza in Sultan Kudarat.

Carreon said they have tightened security in areas in Maguindanao province where there is Dawlah Islamiya presence.

“We want to make sure the group cannot pull off retaliatory attacks,” Carreon said.

 Operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Dawlah Islamiya is known for bombing non-military targets and for attacking villages to avenge the deaths of members killed in encounters with pursuing Army and police units.

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