KIDAPAWAN CITY – Security forces killed a suspected bomb maker in a gun battle following a raid before sunrise Monday in the restive southern Philippine province of Maguindanao, officials said.
Officials said Murad Ali, a member of the militant group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter, was slain in Datu Odin Sinsuat town after police commandos and army soldiers stormed his hiding place in the village called Capiton.
It was not immediately known how security forces tracked down Ali, a follower of slain BIFF leader Abdul Basit Usman who was killed by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in May 2015. Officials did not say if the MILF – which signed an interim peace deal with Manila in 2014 – provided intelligence on Ali.
But officials said troops seized automatic weapons and grenades, and components for improvised explosives from Ali’s hideout.
The killing of Ali also coincided on bombing at a market place in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat province after 3 men on a motorcycle left a bag containing an improvised explosive. The men immediately escaped after a security guard noticed them and the bag later exploded. No one was hurt in the blast. (Rhoderick Beñez)
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