Thursday, January 5, 2017

Police Kill Leader of Philippine Group Believed to Sympathize With IS

The leader of a militant group in the Philippines suspected of sympathizing with Islamic State was killed Thursday in a shootout with police.

Police said Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, founder of a group known as Ansarul Khilafa Philippines, was shot at a beach resort on the southern island of Mindanao.

Regional police chief Cedric Train said Maguid’s group carried out bomb attacks that killed people at festivals, including a grenade blast that killed a police officer.

The Indonesia-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict said the group was behind an attack that claimed the lives of two civilians in Mindanao in 2008, as well as a series of other crimes.

Train said the militant group has flown Islamic State flags in their camps and Maguid, along with other local militant group leaders, appeared in a video circulated last year, pledging allegiance to IS.

Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno warned of violent revenge attacks. “They might retaliate so we have to double our preparations,” he said, noting that large Catholic festivals are scheduled in the Philippines later this month.

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