Singaporean bomb expert, 20 others, killed in Maguindanao military operations

COTABATO CITY, March 20 — The military claimed Sunday at least 21 armed Moro rebels, including a Singaporean bomb expert of  the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS), were killed in series of operations in the province of Maguindanao.

Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesperson, said the foreigner, identified as Muhammad Ali bin Abdulrahman alias “Muawiyah,” a Singaporean bomb expert of the Jemaah Islamiyah; was killed during theirair and ground assault from March 13-16 in the outskirts of Datu Salibo town.

Passingly said Esmael Abdulmalik, also known as “Abu Toraype,” the founder of the Dawlah Islamiyah Maguindanao and a brigade commander of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter, was also killed.

“Validations are being made on persistent reports that these terrorists were killed in the wellplanned, well-coordinated, and well-executed massive air and ground operations,” Petinglay said.

She said 26 other rebels were wounded in the offensives concentrated in the village of Tee, a stronghold of the BIFF.

Major General Carlito Galvez, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command chief, said Abdulrahman was the leader of the ISIS cell in Central Mindanao.

“With the recent successful operations, the AFP has dealt a severe blow on the reported ISIS cell in Central Mindanao. We are also confident that their bomb making capability was seriously degraded if not negated,” Galvez said in a statement.

Abdulrahman has a $500,000 reward on his head. (End)

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