KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/27 May) – A suspected bomber was killed Thursday when he and his followers reportedly shot it out with policemen and soldiers who wanted to serve the warrant for his arrest in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao.
Senior Supt. Wilfredo Dangane, chief of the Cotabato City police, identified the suspect as Edris Sabal also known as Faisal Ampuan. He was wanted for a number of murder and frustrated murder charges due to his alleged involvement in the recent bombing incidents in Southwestern Mindanao.
The warrant for his arrest was issued by a Regional Trial Court in Cotabato City.
Also killed in the running gun battle was Sgt. Romy Aposto of the anti-crime Task Force Tugis of the 6th Infantry Division.
A police officer identified as Manuelito Lesmoras of the Cotabato City police was wounded during the firefight, a report said.
Dangane said the arresting authorities first tried to surround Sapal’s hideout, which is reportedly near the main headquarters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in crossing Simuay of Sultan Kudarat town.
But Sapal and his men noticed their presence and started to open fire, the report added.
Sapal died on the spot while his companions escaped.
Intelligence reports said the suspect had undergone training on bomb handling in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
It was Muslim religious leaders who reportedly tipped off his presence in Sultan Kudarat to the city police.
Surveillance operations were then conducted on Sabal, said Dangane. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)