Authorities identified the suspect as Ben Usman alias Tons Usman who was an alleged member of Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines (AKP). He was the brother of Basit Usman, a notorious bomb expert and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) member whom the military killed in Maguindanao in May 2015.
Lieutenant Colonel Dingdong Atilano, the spokesman of the Maguindanao-based 6th Infantry Division, said Ben Usman resisted and fought the police and military forces who were about to serve a warrant of arrest against him on Sunday.
“He resisted arrest. He fought it out with the arresting authorities. He was hit and wounded during the encounter,” Atilano said.
Usman was wanted for frustrated murder, Atilano said. He added Usman was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
Atilano said the military recovered a cal. 38 revolver, a grenade, an ISIS flag, and a T-shirt with ISIS markings from the suspect.
“The target is a bomb expert of the AKP,” Atilano said. “He is an instructor on bomb-making, that’s his position in the group.”
Atilano said AKP currently has 20 members. He said its members scattered into smaller groups after the government troops killed Mohammad Jaafar Maguid alias Tokboy during a raid in Sarangani in January 2017.
“When Tokboy was killed, they (AKP members) scattered… they went to areas where they felt safe. We are stil conducting operations against them because they still have capability [to sow terror],” said Atilano.
AKP is behind the bombing attack near a park in General Santos City in September 2018, where seven people were wounded, Atilano said. However, it was not clear whether Usman took part in the reported attack.
Last month, an alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf who is believed to be connected to the international terrorist group ISIS was killed in a Parañaque City clash.
Police were supposed to issue an arrest warrant against a Bensaudi Sali alias Benz, who was an alleged “combatant” of Abu Sayyaf.
Sali and his companion allegedly resisted and fought, so the police were forced to shoot the suspects. Authorities said the suspects also threw a grenade.