AN alleged bomb maker of the Dawlah Islamiya terror group was shot dead in a gunfight with arresting officers in Barangay Lapu, Polomolok, South Cotabato on Thursday.

The suspect was identified as Esmael Sambial, whom the army claimed was an expert at fabricating improvised explosive devices that could be remotely detonated using a mobile phone.

A police operation was set in motion to serve a warrant of arrest to Sambial and 15 other members of Dawlah Islamiya.

Sambial, however, resisted arrest and opened fire at the arresting team while his companions scampered away. A brief gunfight took place, and Sambial was killed in the encounter.

According to the police, Sambial was a henchman of Zadee Nilong, leader of a Dawlah Islamiya group tagged in recent deadly bombings in Central Mindanao.

The Dawlah Islamiya is connected with the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters whose bastions are in the adjoining North Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces.

Both terror groups are using the flag of the Islamic State as a banner and have a reputation for bombing commercial establishments if owners refuse to shell out "protection money."