Four alleged Islamic militants, including one believed to have masterminded the recent bombing of a passenger bus in Aleosan, North Cotabato, were killed in an operation by government forces in Carmen town on Saturday, the military said.
Among those killed was Norodin Hassan alias “Andot,” reportedly the “emir for military affairs” of the Daulah Islamiya-Hassan Group, said Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Armed Forces’ Joint Task Force Central and Army’s 6th Infantry Division.
Two of his slain “associates” were identified as Abdonillah Hassan alias “Don” and Abdonhack Hassan alias “Abdon,” while the third has yet to be identified.
Col. Jovencio Gonzales, Army 602nd Brigade commander, said his men carried out a “massive” manhunt after receiving intelligence reports and information which helped track down the perpetrators.
The operation was launched on Wednesday, a day after the bombing of a Mindanao Star bus unit where a 5-year-old boy was killed and six other passengers were wounded.
Soldiers encountered the suspects in Brgy. Tunganon, Carmen, around 7:45 a.m. Saturday, according to the military.
Various firearms and war materiel, including an M14 rifle, M1 Garand rifle, several rounds of ammunition and magazines of different calibers, as well as cellphones, solar panels, handheld radios, and documents with “high intelligence value,” were seized from the slain suspects, the military said.