A foreigner identified with the slain leader of the Ansar Al-Khilafa Philippines was killed in Maasim town in Sarangani on Saturday.
Supterintendent Romeo Galgo,Jr., spokesman of Regional Police Office 12, said the slain militant, initially identified only as Abu Naila, resisted arrest and was shot soldiers and police during a raid in Barangay Daliao in Maasim.
The operation that resulted in the death of Abu Naila was part of an effort to locate followers of Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, founder of the outlawed jihadist group operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, in seaside Sarangani towns.
Maguid, known to his contacts in the Middle East and Pakistan as Abu Shareefa Al-Filibini, was killed on Thursday in a shootout with personnel of PRO-12 and agents of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency at a beach resort in Kiamba town, also in Sarangani.
“Initial reports relayed to us by our operating personnel indicated that Abu Naila, a loyal follower of the slain leader of their group, was a foreigner. We’re still trying to establish his exact nationality,” Galgo said.
Abu Naila was a known henchman of Maguid, who established the Ansar Al-Khilafa group in Barangay Butril in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat in 2013.
Maguid and his followers built a camp in Barangay Butril with an ISIS flag in the center.
He and his men were driven away from Barangay Butril in late 2015 by Regional Police Office-12 and the 1st Marine Brigade in an operation where seven militants were killed, among them a nephew of a former congressional representative in Maguindanao province.
Police agents who cornered Maguid on Thursday attempted to subdue him while in Barangay Kitagas in Kiamba but he resisted and pulled out a gun, prompting them to shoot him.
Three of Maguid's companions immediately yielded to police when their leader was shot.
The arrested militants -- Matahata Dialawe, Arboleda Shahak, and Morhaban Veloso -- were brought to an undisclosed police camp. They are heavily guarded against any attempt by companions to spring them from detention.