Security forces hunt down jihadists in Philippines
GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Philippine security forces continue to hunt down jihadists in the restive southern region of Mindanao following the killing of a foreign fighter and his female companion in Sarangani province, officials said.
Officials said the slain foreigner initially identified only by his alias Abu Naila and the woman Kadija were members of the local jihadist group Ansar-al Khilafah, whose leader Mohd Jaafar Maguid was also killed on January 5 at a resort beach in Kiamba town in the province.
It was not immediately known whether Naila was an Indonesian or Malaysian citizen and authorities were still investigating his background. The woman was believed to be a Filipina jihadist.
Officials said security forces were trying to arrest Naila and had been shot after he tried to toss a hand grenade to a group of army soldiers and police commandos in the town call Maasim over the weekend.
Soldiers also recovered the grenade and other explosives from Naila’s hideout. Several jihadist groups allied with Ansar-al Khalifah may strike in populated areas to avenge the death of Maguid and Naila, officials said.
Security has been tightened in many areas in the South, including the country’s capital.