Mastermind Behind Marawi Bombing Killed in Clash with Government Troops

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The mastermind behind the deadly bombing that took place in Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City on December 3 has met his demise after a clash between members of a pro-Islamic State group and government troops, according to officials. Khadafi Mimbesa, also known as “Engineer,” was wounded when soldiers stormed the group’s hideout in Piagapo town, Lanao del Sur. Although he managed to escape, he succumbed to his injuries days later while under the care of a supporter.

Mimbesa’s identity was revealed by a ranking member of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute Group, who goes by the alias Khatab. Khatab surrendered to the Army’s 2nd Mechanized Brigade on February 11. The attack on worshippers during a mass inside the MSU gym in Marawi resulted in the deaths of four individuals and left dozens wounded. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) believe that eight militants from the Dawlah Islamiyah group were responsible for carrying out the attack.

Since then, five militants have been killed in manhunt operations, one has been apprehended, and two others are still at large. In a statement, AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner called on remaining members of the militant group to surrender, urging them to “avoid the same fate as your dead comrades.”

Militant attacks on buses, Catholic churches, and public markets have been recurring occurrences in the southern region of the Philippines, where decades-long unrest has persisted. In 2014, Manila signed a peace pact with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the largest rebel group in the country, effectively putting an end to their armed rebellion. However, smaller factions of Muslim fighters, including those pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group, continue to oppose the peace agreement.

The pursuit of Mimbesa’s group began in January, with troops from the 103rd Brigade, commanded by Brig. Gen. Yegor Rey Barroquillo Jr., leading the operation. Among those killed were Saucy Saiden, also known as Ustadz Omar, Abu Omar, and Saumay, one of the four suspects involved in the MSU bombing. Additionally, Abdul Wadi, alias Hodi Imam, and Abday’N, who reportedly assembled the improvised explosive device used in the attack, were also neutralized.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines will always be a catalyst for peace and assure the public of the military’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding peace and security in Mindanao and across the country,” emphasized Brawner.

In conclusion, the mastermind behind the deadly bombing at Mindanao State University has been eliminated in a clash between government troops and a pro-Islamic State group. The Armed Forces of the Philippines continue their efforts to bring peace and security to Mindanao and the entire nation. While the peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has been successful in reducing armed rebellion, smaller factions of militants still pose a threat. The authorities urge remaining members of these militant groups to surrender and avoid the consequences faced by their fallen comrades.

Source: The Manila Times

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