CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/13 March) – The military on Tuesday identified two alleged Dawlah Islamiyah fighters killed in a clash Monday in Lanao del Sur as among the “students” of slain Malaysian bomb maker Zulkipli bin Hir alias Marwan.
Capt. Clint Antipala, public information officer of the 6th Infantry Division said they identified the suspected militants as Abu Tahir and Abu Jihad.
“We received information that Tahir moved to Lanao del Sur to join the remnants of the Daesh-inspired Maute group right after Marawi City was liberated in 2017,” Antipala told MindaNews.
He said Tahir joined the band of Benito Owayda Marohombsar, also known as Abu Dar after he arrived in Lanao del Sur.
He said they obtained the names of the two alleged Dawlah Islamiyah members from residents of barangay Calaludan, Pagayawan town in Lanao del Sur where the clash took place last Monday.
He said the Dawlah Islamiyah group may have stayed long near the village for the residents to be familiar with their identities.
Two soldiers were killed and another one was wounded in the clash that left Tahir and Jihad dead.
Government troops recovered one carbine rifle and the lower receiver part of an M16 rifle at the encounter site.
BGen Romeo Brawner, chief of the 103rd Infantry Brigade said there is an ongoing operation to flush out the remnants of the group who escaped after the clash to make the province free from terrorists.
Marwan was killed in a raid by the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, 2015. He reportedly ran a bomb-making school in his hideout in the marshlands of Maguindanao. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)