GENERAL SANTOS CITY ‒ A ranking leader of Dawlah Islamiyah local terror group and his brother were killed when they shot it out with police and military operatives who tried to arrest them in a hinterland village in Polomolok, South Cotabato on Tuesday.
Col. Jemuel Siason, South Cotabato police director, identified the slain suspects as Jourhan Utap, the alleged finance officer of Dawlah Islamiyah-Soccsksargen KATIBA, and his brother, Mohaimeen.
The duo reportedly resisted when security forces tried to serve the arrest warrant against them at their stronghold in Sitio Bio, Barangay Lapu, Polomolok.
The suspects are facing string of criminal charges including murder, carnapping and illegal drugs.
Authorities recovered a .45-caliber pistol and a .38-caliber revolver from the slain suspects.
Police said the Soccsksargen Katiba is affiliated with the Dawlah Islamiyah ISIS-inspired terror group operating in South Cotabato and its neighbouring areas.
The group was believed responsible for a series of bombing, gun-for-hire, robbery and illegal drug trade activities in Polomolok town and adjacent areas.
Authorities also tagged the local terror group as behind the gun-slaying of Police Patrolman Bryan Costelo and Corporal Witzel Russ Betantos, both detailed at Polomolok Police Station.
The two were ambushed while conducting security patrol in Barangay Koronadal Proper, Polomolok, South Cotabato, on April 29, 2020.
They were also involved in the killing of Senior Inspector Herman Gabat, Polomolok deputy police chief, in 2017; and the bomb attack outside the laying-in clinic in Barangay Apopong, General santos City in September 2018 which injured eight people, including a minor.