The leader and four members of the terrorist group Daulah Islamiya (DI) were killed in a clash against the military in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Thursday.
A report from the Philippine Army identified the leader as Asim Karinda alias “Abu Azim.”
Azim reportedly replaced Salahudin Hasan, the former leader of DI, who killed in October in another clash in Damablac, Talayan, Maguindanao.
Azim is said to be trained bombmaker.
Major General Juvymax Uy, commander of the Joint Task Force Central and 6th Infantry Division confirmed Azim’s death. Four other members of DI were also confirmed killed in the Mamasapano encounter.
The military further said the clash with Azim took place around 1:30am on Thursday, and lasted for an hour. After the clash, military personnel said the body of Azim and four others were recovered.
There were no casualties on the military side.
Last December 1, another high-ranking leader of DI was also killed in an encounter. The leader was identified as alias “Adsam.”
Military reports said hundreds of members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and DI surrendered since January.