KIDAPAWAN CITY: A barangay official was killed while a police officer and a security guard were wounded when unidentified armed men opened fire at them in a remote village in Marawi City on Thursday evening, military and police officials said.
Col. Manolo Samarita, deputy commander of Marawi city-based 103rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, identified the slain victim as Barangay Chairman Aminoden Awar alias Otik of Brgy. East Basak.
Identities of the injured – a police officer and a security guard of Mindanao State University (MSU) Main Campus – were being validated as they were brought to separate local hospitals in the cities of Marawi and Iligan.
Link with jihadists
Chief Inspector Parson Asadil, Marawi city chief of police said the victims were outside the house of Otik when the suspects fired shots at them using M16 rifles at around 7:40 p.m., in Brgy. East Basak.
The officials said Otik was previously tagged in the killing of Marawi city chief of police Supt. Al Abner Wahab Santos on October 17. Santos was assassinated while on the way to back to the police station from conducting an investigation on some confidential cases. Unidentified gunmen stopped police official’s car and shot at him pointblank.
Asadil said Otik is also suspect in previous attacks, including the ambush of an army truck along MSU campus that that killed three soldiers and a child and wounded several others in August 2012.
The August 2012 ambush in MSU campus was said to be the handiwork of young radicals Khilafah Islamiyah Movement (KIM), locally known as Ghuraba or strangers that resulted to the death of three soldiers and a child with several others injured.
Sources said Otik has “personal link” with the local jihadists group KIM, which had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The shooting of Otik followed the killing of two army officers on December 29 by still unidentified gunmen in Marawi City.
The soldiers were outside the local radio station waiting for an informant who was supposed to shed more light on the recent ambush on an ABS-CBN news team last December 26 when gunmen onboard a motorcycle fired at them.
Authorities also eyed young radicals behind the attacks.