Recovered R4 rifle (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

MANILA – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief, Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., on Friday commended operating units of the 6th Infantry Division for the successful operations that led to the death of terrorist leader Salahuddin Hassan.

The cadavers of Hassan and his wife, Jehana Minbida, who served as finance officer of the Daulah Islamiyah - Hassan Group (DIHG), were recovered following special operations in Barangay Damablac, Talayan, Maguindanao on Friday.

"The notorious leader of the DIHG was blamed for a series of bombings and terror attacks in Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat," Faustino said.

Troops also recovered an R4 rifle, bandolier, and long magazine with ammunition.

"This latest accomplishment is a significant blow against the DIHG and another victory in our thrust against terrorism. With their leader now dead, the terrorist group will certainly crumble," Faustino said.

He attributed the success of AFP operations against local terrorists to the dedication and perseverance of soldiers "and the growing support of our people in the whole-of-nation approach towards peace and development".

"Peaceful activities such as Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism programs, which address the root causes of terrorism, prove to be effective in denying terrorists the opportunity to recruit members and stage atrocities in vulnerable communities," Faustino said. (PNA)