COTABATO CITY - A local terror group member was killed while another was arrested following a predawn clash Friday with government forces in Ampatuan, Maguindanao province, the military said.
In a statement, the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said the clash occurred in Barangay Dicalungan of Ampatuan town between the Daesh-inspired Dawlah Islamiya (DI)-Hassan Group and the Army's 40th Infantry Battalion (40IB).
Troopers under the 40IB, led by its commander, Lt. Colonel Edwin Alburo, also arrested another DI member during the military operation in the area.
Soldiers conducting a clearing operation found a cadaver of the slain gunman with a .45-caliber pistol beside him, two complete improvised explosive devices, bomb components, and personal belongings.
The slain DI member was later identified as Khamhed Akan Kambal, a known bomber of the DI-Hassan Group.
Arrested was Nasrudin Sali Blah, a resident of Barangay Tuayan, Ampatuan. He was handed over to the Ampatuan police for filing of appropriate charges.
Meanwhile, soldiers turned over Kambal's remains to village officials in Barangay Dicalangan for burial according to Islamic rites.
Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr., chief of the Westmincom that has jurisdiction over Central and Western Mindanao, said the DI and other lawless groups are "desperate enough to show their force to gain popular support from the civil society."
"Rest assured that we will do everything to stop them from creating havoc on peaceful communities," Rosario said. (PNA)