6 alleged Islamic State followers killed in South Cotabato clash

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 13 November) – Six alleged members of an Islamic State-inspired local terror group were killed in an encounter with government troops early Friday morning in Polomolok, South Cotabato, police said.

Col. Jemuel Siason (2nd right), South Cotabato police director, directs the operation that resulted in the deaths of six alleged Islamic State followers in Polomolok, South Cotabato on Friday, 13 November 2020. Photo courtesy of South Cotabato Police Office

Col. Jemuel Siason, South Cotabato police chief, said two policemen were also wounded in the encounter in Barangay Koronadal Proper in Polomolok town against members of the Dawlah Islamiya – Maguid Group, an affiliate of the Islamic State-aligned Ansar Al-Khilafa Philippines.

Siason said the firefight erupted at 5 a.m. after the suspects resisted the troops serving the warrant of arrest against Arafat Bulacon, a Dawlah Islamiyah member.

Bulacon and his brother Mommamad were suspects in the killing of Police Officer 1 Achilles Tablazon in Tupi town, also in South Cotabato in September.

In a text message, Siason identified one of the dead suspects as Jayton Sadalao.

The official said the suspects were heavily-armed and that they were allegedly involved in illegal drugs, gun running and bombing activities in the region.

The gunfire disrupted the flow of traffic in the interior village for at least four hours.

Several families also fled to safer places to avoid getting caught in the crossfire.

The operating team included the South Cotabato police command, the Polomolok municipal station, the 4th Police Special Action Forces Battalion, the South Cotabato Provincial Mobile Force Command and the Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)