The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday announced that its troops have neutralized the alleged mastermind in the December 2023 bombing of the Mindanao State University (MSU) gymnasium in Marawi City.
In a statement, AFP public affairs office chief Col. Xerxes Trinidad said Khadafi Mimbesa alias ‘Engineer’, a reported amir of the Dawlah Islamiyah terror group, was killed in military operations in Lanao del Sur province last month.
“The efforts of the (Philippine Army) 103rd Brigade, under the leadership of their commander, Brig. Gen. Yegor Rey Barroquillo Jr., resulted in the neutralization of local terrorists and armed members of the Dawlah Islamiyah in Lanao del Sur on Jan. 25-26, 2024, who were identified as perpetrators of the fatal bombing at Mindanao State University (MSU) on December 3, 2023,” Trinidad said.
He added that Mimbesa’s death was confirmed through a statement of a surrendered terrorist identified only as “Khatab”, a high-value individual of the DI-Maute Group who surrendered to the 2nd Mechanized Brigade on Sunday.
The decisive military operations also resulted in the recovery of nine high-powered firearms, a bandolier, four Baofeng radios, and a smartphone, Trinidad said.
Meanwhile, AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. lauded the troops in successfully pursuing those responsible for the MSU bombing and called on remnants of the group to surrender.
“Our troops will be relentless in the pursuit of those who will seek to disturb the peace. Take this as an invitation and a call to surrender now and avoid the same fate as your dead comrades,” he added. (PNA)