Philippines kills leader of IS-linked militant group

Philippine security forces killed the leader of the militant group Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines (AKP) supporting the Islamic State (IS) in a clash early on January 5, the country's police chief said, source from the Vietnamnews.

Philippine security forces in Sulu (Source: EPA/VNA)

Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa told a news conference that the AKP’s leader Mohammad Ja, afar Maguid was killed during a raid in a resort in the southern province of Sarangani.

Maguid is the recognised IS leader in that area, Dela Rosa said, adding that he was the "most wanted person" in the country's south, sought for his involvement in crimes ranging from arson and murder to bombings.

The killing has broken the backbone of the militant group AKP, Dela Rosa said.

Police also arrested three AKP members and seized two armalite rifles and a hand grenade from the insurgents.

The killing and the arrests would momentarily weaken the group, Dela Rosa said, warning that a new leader could emerge eventually and launch fresh attacks.

The AKP and the Maute militant groups, which have pledged allegiance to the IS, are among small groups which have been blamed for unrest in the South of the Philippine in recent years.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte recently cautioned against the IS taking root in the country.

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