Leader of Philippine militant group linked to Islamic State killed in resort shootout

A leader of a group of suspected sympathizers of Islamic State was killed Thursday in a clash with Philippine police after resisting arrest at a beach resort in the country's south, officials said.

An official said Jaafar Maguid, leader of a small armed group called Ansar al-Khilafa, died in a shootout in Kiamba, in the southern province of Sarangani. Three of Mr. Maguid's alleged followers were arrested after the clash, which occurred when police went to check reports from civilians about the presence of armed men, the official said.

Officials said Mr. Maguid's group is believed to be behind a string of attacks including a grenade blast that killed a police officer and wounded dozens of people. He is also suspected of recruiting minors in the region.

In August, government troops clashed with Mr. Maguid's group in Sarangani's Maasim town, killing three of his followers and seizing two rifles and an Islamic State-style black flag.

A number of other Islamic groups in the southern Philippines, including Abu Sayyaf, have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, but the military says there has been no sign of a direct collaboration between Filipino gunmen and militants in Syria and Iraq.

Source: National News Agency