Daulah Islamiyah leader dies in encounter with govt forces

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 29) – Salahuddin Hassan, leader of the Islamic State group-linked Daulah Islamiya, was killed early morning Friday in a joint police and military operation in Maguindanao, officials said.

Col. Pedro Balisi, commander of the Philippine Army's 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, said government forces clashed with Hassan's group in Talayan municipality's Barangay Damablac.

Balisi said troops recovered the bodies of Hassan and his wife Jehana Minbida, the finance officer of Daulah Islamiyah, as well as several firearms, ammunition and subversive documents.

Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, commended security forces for their operation which led to Hassan's death.

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

Hassan assumed the overall Amir position of the group after Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan died in a military encounter in 2019, Balisi said.

According to the military, Hassan was also responsible for notable attacks in Mindanao such as the Davao Night Market bombing in 2016 which killed 14 civilians, the Isulan twin bombing in 2018 which left five persons dead and at least 40 others wounded, and the bus bombings in Tulunan and M'lang towns in Cotabato early this year.