Alleged IS-aligned militant killed in Sarangani

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/22 October) – An alleged key leader of an Islamic State-aligned group was killed in an encounter with state forces early Monday morning in nearby Sarangani province.

Chief Supt. Eliseo Rasco, Police Regional Office-12 director, said that Bassir Sahak was killed in an encounter with a joint police and military team in Sitio Lebe, Barangay Daliao, Maasim town.

Sahak was the leader of the Special Operations Group of the Islamic State-inspired Ansar Al-Khilafa Philippines (AKP), Rasco said in a statement.

Sahak was also involved in the September 16 explosion at Barangay Apopong here that wounded eight persons, the official added.

The suspect was charged with multiple frustrated murder in connection with the latest explosion to rock this city.

Supt Adrin Gonzales, PRO-12 spokesperson, said Sahak and his father, Kupang Sahak, fired at the operating team out to arrest them.

The elder Sahak managed to escape and has been the subject of a manhunt operation, Gonzales said.

Authorities recovered from the encounter site an M-16 rifle, ammunition and bomb making components, the official said.

Citing intelligence information, Gonzales said the slain suspect managed the finances of the AKP, including the procurement of firearms and ammunition.

The AKP is one of the groups in Mindanao that had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, the military said.

Sahak sourced funding from their contact in the Middle East, Gonzales said.

The slain Sahak also had direct contact with the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu and the Toraife faction of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Maguindanao, the police official said. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)