• IS claims election day attack in Basilan

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    COTABATO CITY: The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack in Maluso, Basilan on election day, saying it was carried out by Jund al-Khilafah or soldiers of the caliphate in the Philippines (JKP), the international terrorist organization said in a statement grabbed from their websites and online forums on Tuesday.

    “By the grace of Allah, a group from [JKP] attacked a crusader army position in the village of Tubigan, Maluso,” the IS said in a statement.

    “One of the crusader army was killed and another was wounded while the remaining soldiers fled during the clashes. The mujahideen seized light weapons and returned to their positions safely. Praised be to Allah,” it said.

    But according to the military and police, the attack on Monday in the remote village of Tubigan in Maluso town was a killing incident involving a former civilian volunteer organization (CVO) member, who is a paralyzed man. The assault also wounded the victim’s son.

    The fatality was identified as Aga Masdal, 36, while his 15-year-old son, whose name was not given, was injured in the daring attack.

    Masdal sustained multiple gunshot wounds, but authorities said he was able to fight back to his assailants using his own firearm.

    Police said at least six fully armed men swooped down on Masdal’s house and opened fire on the victims.

    The military tried to pursue the suspects but failed.

    The report said the police have filed murder and frustrated murder charges against the attackers, but did not provide identities of the suspects.

    On April 9, the IS (or ISIS) and the JKP both claimed responsibility for the attack in Basilan that killed 18 soldiers and wounded more than 50 others, including civilians, in the troubled Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

    The JKP this week also owned up the bombing of Tower 25 of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Ramain town in Lanao del Sur on May 3, days before Monday’s synchronized elections.

    Government and military officials, however, have repeatedly announced that they were confident the international terrorist group has not gained foothold in the country.

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