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IS-linked bombers killed in South Cotabato

Roel Pareño, John Unson - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Two suspected bombers of a local terrorist group were killed in an encounter with government troopers in Surallah, South Cotabato on Wednesday.

Jeoffrey Nilong, alias Momoy, and his brother Amen fired at personnel of the 5th Special Forces Battalion and local police who tried to arrest them at their hideout in Barangay Lamsugod, Lt. Col. Alaric delos Santos, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesman, said.

Delos Santos said four improvised explosive devices, blasting caps and a grenade were among those recovered from the fatalities.

Sixth Army Division and Joint Task Force Central commander Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy confirmed that Jeoffrey was a leader of the Dawlah Islamiya, which has links with the Islamic State (IS), and tagged in a series of bomb attacks in Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao recently.

The terrorist group was said to be behind the bombing of a public market in Isulan town in September last year that left seven people wounded.

Westmincom chief Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. said the police and military would relentlessly hunt down the remnants of the Dawlah Islamiya and other local terror groups in the country.

”Let us continue to work hand-in-hand for the common good,” Vinluan called on civilian communities.

The military said the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Abu Sayyaf, Khilafa Philippines and Maute are active terrorist groups in the country.

In its latest reports, the US Defense Intelligence Agency said around 40 foreigners are supporting IS-inspired terrorist groups in the Philippines, most of them based in Sulu, Basilan and Central Mindanao provinces.

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