Government troops have killed the leader of terrorist group Dawlah Islamiya Philippines during an early morning operation in Talayan, Maguindanao, the military said Friday.
Major General Juvymax Uy, commander of Army's 6th Infantry Division, told a news conference Salahuddin Hassan was killed in Barangay Damablac Friday.
“Salahuddin Hassan, also known as Orak, the overall emir of Dawlah Islamiya Philippines and most wanted Dawlah Islamiya terrorist, was neutralized by government forces,” he said.
The military said Hassan's wife, Jehana Mimbida, allegedly the group's finance officer, was also killed in the operation.
Recovered from the two were war materials including a caliber 223-5.56 MOD R4, a bandoleer, two cellular phones, and six long magazines for R4 ammunition.
In a statement, the 6ID said concerned residents reported the presence of suspicious armed individuals during the military’s manhunt operations.
Col. Pedro Balisi, commander of the 1st Mechanized Brigade, said Hassan was killed after he allegedly tried to escape by engaging government troops in an armed encounter.
Balisi said Hassan was seriously wounded and was left by his group along with his wife.
"Our operating troops were able to recover the cadaver of Hassan and Minbida together with several firearms and war material,” he said.
Hassan replaced Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan as the over-all Amir of Daulah Islamiyah after the latter's death in 2019.
Hassan was the former leader and founder of the notorious Al-Khobar Group involved in the different terror attacks in Mindanao from 2007-2015. He was also a student of the late Basit Usman and Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir Marwan.
Hassan is identified as the mastermind of the Yellowbus unit bombing early this year at Tulunan, Cotabato, and the burning of another Yellowbus unit at M’lang, Cotabato on June 3, 2021, which left four people dead.
The military said Hassan’s group was also behind the extortion, liquidation, and bombing activities in Central Mindanao that targeted businessmen and companies, according to the military.