Dawlah member, motorist dead in South Cotabato hostilities

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SOUTH COTABATO, Philippines

A driver of a passenger motorcycle and a suspected member of the Dawlah Islamiya terror group were killed while another was hurt in related shooting incidents in Tupi, South Cotabato on Wednesday, June 30.

A group of Dawlah Islamiya members first killed using pistol Percy Lagne, and wounded Noel Alconera, both drivers of passenger motorcycles, in a daytime attack in Barangay Polonuling.

The Dawlah Islamiya has a reputation for attacking people and bombing commercial establishments and public conveyances whose owners refuse to shell out “protection money” on monthly basis.

Major Rafale Banggay, Jr., Tupi municipal police chief, said pursuing policemen cornered in Barangay Sumbakil in Polomolok, South Cotabato the Dawlah Islamiya members who pulled off the bloody attack in Barangay Polonuling, killing Montaser Bansil Catucan in an ensuing shootout.

Local community leaders and relatives of Catucan have confirmed to reporters his being member of the Dawlah Islamiya, operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

A number of Dawlah Islamiya members were killed in one police operation after another in South Cotabato’s adjoining Tupi and Polomolok towns in recent months.

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Brig. Gen. Alexander Tagum, director of the Police Regional Office-12, said Friday he has directed the Tupi municipal police force and units of the South Cotabato Provincial Police Office to guard against possible retaliations by the Dawlah Islamiya for the death of Catucan.

The group is feared for its venting of ire on innocent communities over losses in clashes with pursuing state security forces. (John Unson)

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