Terror group supporter wounded in SoCot ops

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – A wanted person who was tagged as a supporter of an Islamic State-inspired local terrorist group was wounded in a police operation in a village in Polomolok town, South Cotabato on Monday afternoon.

In a radio interview on Tuesday, Maj. Randy Apostol, deputy chief of Polomolok municipal police station, identified the suspect as Alvar Utap Sambial alias “Bari Sambial,” of Purok Maguindanao, Barangay Lumakil.

He said Sambial was wounded in a brief firefight at his home around 1:30 p.m. with police operatives who were serving a warrant of arrest against him for attempted murder.

“The suspect resisted and opened fire after noticing the presence of the operating team, leading to the firefight,” he said.

Sambial was wounded on the body and was initially brought to the Pomolok Municipal Hospital but later referred to the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Koronadal City.

Recovered from the suspect were a .38 caliber revolver with live bullets and four sachets of suspected shabu weighing about a gram and valued at PHP6,860.

Citing intelligence reports, Apostol said Sambial was a supporter of the Dawlah Islamiya-Socsargen Khatiba that operates in the area.

The group had been tagged as behind a string of criminal activities in the area in the last two years, including armed robbery and illegal drug trafficking.

The suspect will be charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition under Republic Act (RA) 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, direct assault, and Section 11 or possession of dangerous drugs under RA 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (PNA)


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