Leader of IS-linked group killed in Philippines

 05 Jan 2017 - 13:03

Leader of IS-linked group killed in Philippines
Photo: AA.

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ZAMBOANGA CITY, the Philippines: The leader of a Islamic State-linked group has been killed and three of his followers arrested in a joint police and military raid in the southern Philippines.

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) quoted a local official as saying that Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, leader of Ansar Khalifah Philippines (AKP), was killed by government forces when he resisted arrest at a Beach Resort early Thursday morning.

According to authorities, Maguid -- facing bombing, kidnapping and extortion charges -- was a high value target and sympathetic to international terrorist organizations.

"Acting on intelligence reports, joint police and military operatives raided Angel Beach Resort in Barangay Kitagas, Kiamba that led to the death of Commander Tokboy [Maguid’s alias] and the arrest of his men," the state-run news outfit quoted Chief Supt. Cedrick Train, as saying.

"Tokboy is a notorious bandit leader with affiliation to ISIS [IS]. He and his group had escaped several government operations to neutralize them."

Police said the suspects had traded fire with arresting officers.

The AKP has been linked to two other Philippines-based IS-linked groups, Maute and the Abu Sayyaf, prompting fears during the stalling of a peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel group that IS could make inroads in a region torn by decades of armed conflict.