Google map of Mamasapano, Maguindanao

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Military forces in this province are bracing for possible retaliatory attacks from the Daulah Islamiya (DI) terrorist group following the death of the group’s leader in Mamasapano town.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, identified the leader as Asim Karinda alias Abu Azim, touted as DI's new “Amir” operating in Maguindanao.

"Karinda was killed during an encounter with military forces shortly before dawn Thursday," Uy said.

The DI leader and his followers clashed with elements of the 6th Infantry Battalion under the Joint Task Force Central in Barangay Dabenayan.

Intensified military intelligence operations backed by the support from civilians led to a series of clashes the past two days in Maguindanao that claimed the death of six DI members, five of them in Mamasapano, and another in nearby Shariff Saydona Mustapha, all in Maguindanao.

Uy said Karinda replaced Salahudin Hasan as “Amir” and leader of the terror group after Salahudin Hasan was neutralized by military forces on Oct. 29, 2021 at Damablac, Talayan, Maguindanao.

Military reports said Hasan was also a trained improvised bomb maker. He died with his wife, Jehana Minbida, who was the DI finance officer, during the Talayan encounter.

“The recent armed clash with the DI group only shows that your security forces are persistent and committed to ensuring the safety of our communities and the Filipino people,” Uy said in a statement Friday.

Lt. Col. Charlie Banaag, 6th IB commander, said the firefight between his men and Karinda’s group lasted for about an hour.

“Our ground forces recovered the abandoned bodies of Azim and his four followers after the firefight,” Banaag said, adding that his unit suffered no casualties.

Banaag identified the other DI fatalities as Fahad Salipada alias Naz, known as the close-in security of Salahudin Hasan; Hamsallah Ganoy Salangani; Salah Salipada; and alias Tatoks.

Their remains were turned over to Mamasapano local officials for proper burial.

On Dec.1, 2021, the son of DI sub-leader Hasan Indal, identified as Adsam, was also neutralized by JTF Central forces in Barangay Ganta, Shariff Saydona Mustapha.

Since January this year, almost 300 members of the DI and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters have returned to the fold of the law. (PNA)