A BOMB expert of a terrorist group was killed on Sunday when he fought it out with soldiers and policemen who were about to arrest him in Polomolok town in South Cotabato, the military reported yesterday.
Slain was Ben Usman, alias Tons Usman, a member of the Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines (AKP) which is inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“The target is a bomb expert of the AKP… He is an instructor on bomb-making,” said Lt. Col. Dingdong Atilano, spokesman of the Maguindanao-based 6th Infantry Division.
Atilano said Usman is the brother of Basit Usman, a notorious bomb expert of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, who was killed in a military operation in Maguindanao in May 2015.
Atilano said the AKP currently has about 20 members. He said its members “scattered” into cells after their leader, Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, alias Tokboy, was killed 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 still conducting operations against them because they still have capability (to sow terror),” said Atilano.
Atilano said the AKP is behind the bombing near a park in General Santos City in September 2018, which injured seven people. Atilano said he has no immediate information if Usman was behind the attack.
On Usman’s killing, Atilano said troops from the Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion Battalion and PNP units swooped down on his safehouse Usman in Purok 2, Barangay Lapu at around 2 a.m. on Sunday to serve an arrest warrant for frustrated murder.