A Pakistani man and his female companion, both believed to be connected with an ISIS-supporting terror group, were killed today (Saturday, January 7).
The incident comes just two days after Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, the leader of Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines (AKP), was also killed. Three other senior members of the group have also been arrested.
The Pakistani, believed to be one Abu Naila, along with a woman identified only as “Kadija” a Filipina, resisted arrest and tried to throw a grenade while a combined police and military team was conducting a manhunt in Sarangani province, at the southern-most tip of Mindanao, police spokesman Cedrick Train said.
The team was was on the hunt for members of the AKP, one of a handful of terror groups that have pledged allegiance to so-called Islamic State and have been blamed for years of unrest in the Philippine deep south.
On Thursday, police chief Ronald dela Rosa said the backbone of the AKP had effectively been broken with the death of its leader and arrest of the three members, identified as Matahata Dialawe Arboleda, Ismael Sahak and Morhaban Veloso alyas Bugoy.
Maguid, also known as Tokboy, was reportedly behind the fiesta blast in Maasim last year, which killed a police officer and wounded several others.
However, despite his confidence that the fighting of the group has been greatly diminished, the police chief has warned of retaliation by remaining AKP members. In particular, he said security forces would remain on full alert as as millions prepare to celebrate the feast of the Black Nazarene with a number of processions across the country on Monday.
Over the years, the AKP group has been linked to crimes including arson, murder and bombings.
Central Mindanao police spokesman Romeo Galgo said they were still verifying the nationality of the foreigner killed today.
“Officers were forced to fire at the suspects when the grenade was lobbed at them,” Mr Train said.
The foreign fighter is not alone in wishing to unleash havoc in the Philippines.
Yesterday, we reported how British supermarket worker Ryan Counsell is currently facing trial for attempting to join the Abu Sayyaf terror group. (See our report here)
The court was told that the 28-year-old had abandoned his wife and three-year-old daughter and made elaborate preparations to travel to the Philippines.
The case continues.