Are elements of the dreaded Jihadist Islamic State now operating in the Philippines?
According to Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesperson Major Filemon Tan, marine elements have shot and kllled eight self-proclaimed members of the jihadist group Islamic State in an operation in Sultan Kudarat Thursday morning.
The government troops from the 61st Marine Company, Maritime Special Operations Group and Special Operations Platoon 6, Marine Battalion Landing Team 6, were the ones who engaged the terrorists headed by Ansar Al Khalifa and Mohd Jaafar S. Maguid, identified by the military as leaders of self-proclaimed IS affiliate, Ansurul Khilafah Philippines.
The military said that the encounter took place about 5:40 A.M. at Sitio Sinapingan in Barangay Burtil of Palimbang town. The 30-minute firefight ended with eight of the ‘IS-followers’ killed. One homemade .50 caliber Barrett sniper rifle, an M-16 automatic rifle, a .45 caliber pistol and assorted improvised explosive devices, ICOM radios and five IS flags and various documents were seized.
The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) has headquarters in Zamboanga city.