NINE alleged members of the Daulah Islamiyah (DI) who were being tagged as among those behind the fatal Mindanao State University (MSU) bombing were killed in an encounter with army troops in Lanao del Sur since Friday, January 26, 2023.
In a statement, Colonel Louie Dema-ala, chief of the Philippine Army Public Affairs Office, said the encounter occurred between the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, under the 103rd Infantry (Haribon) Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, and the “heavily armed members” of DI in Barangay Tapurong, Piagapo, Lanao del Sur from January 25 to 26.
Among those killed was Saumay Saiden alias Ustadz Omar/ Abu Omar/ Saumay, one of the four primary suspects involved in the bombing in MSU Dimaporo Gymnasium on December 3, 2023, which resulted in the killing of four individuals.
Others were identified as Salman alias Mikdad/Miqdad; Abdul Hadi alias Hodi Imam/ Abday'n who allegedly assembled the improvised explosive device (IED) used during the MSU bombing; Lacson Timbang alias Abdullah; King Fahad Dalig Untie alias Muhajeer/Abu Khalid; Asnawi Mael alias Hamza/ Asnawi; alias Mauwiyah; alias Mohaimen and a still unidentified suspect.
Nine high-powered firearms and two IEDs were also recovered from the neutralized alleged terrorists.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Romeo Brawner Jr. commends the army troops for their precision and unwavering dedication to deliver swift and decisive justice for the victims of the attack.
“This operation sets a clear precedent: the AFP will not tolerate those who endanger the lives and well-being of our people. The remaining few will face our full force and unshakeable resolve in bringing every single responsible individual to account,” said Brawner.
“We call upon those considering violence to rethink their choices for the AFP remains an indomitable force ensuring the safety and confidence of our citizens,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)