KIDAPAWAN CITY – The Police Regional Office -12 (Soccsksargen) lauded members of its police mobile force who neutralized two Islamic State-linked gunmen on a bombing mission in Tacurong City early Monday.
Chief Supt. Eliseo Tam Rasco, PRO -12 director, said alert cops killed the two suspected bombers following a shootout with law enforcers manning a checkpoint along the highway.
Rasco said the suspects were on board a gray multicab vehicle that evaded a police checkpoint along the Isulan-Tacurong highway and quickly turned toward Kapingkong road that caught the attention of police officers.
Rasco said before the multicab evaded the checkpoint in Isulan, the two suspects armed with assault rifles fired at police officers of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion manning a checkpoint at Barrio Dos, Tacurong City at about 4 a.m. This prompted the police to chase the gunmen until they were cornered at Kapingkong road in Tacurong City.
“They opened fire on our police officers who retaliated and neutralized the gunmen,” Rasco said.
Rasco said prior to the shootout, the Sultan Kudarat police provincial office received information about an impending transport of an improvised bomb between Isulan town and Tacurong City, both in Sultan Kudarat province.
“After the information was validated, police on checkpoints were alerted,” he said.
Seized from the slain suspects were one Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) flag, one 9-mm pistol with PNP markings, one KG9 pistol, ammunition, an improvised bomb, and bomb components.
Supt. Aldrin Gonzales, speaking for PRO-12, said the IED was safely deactivated by Sultan Kudarat bomb experts.
The slain suspects remained unidentified, but they are believed to be members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) that has pledged allegiance to the ISIS.
Two bombings rocked Isulan in August and September this year that left five dead and 49 others injured. The twin bombings were blamed on the BIFF Abu Toraife faction.