More than 30 Maute Group members killed as military pounds Lanao hideout
More than 30 members of the local terrorist Maute Group including two foreign looking individuals were killed while three soldiers were wounded during the military operations that started last Friday.
The combined elements of Philippine Army and tactical operations units of the Philippine Airforce under the 1st Infantry Division has started the conduct of focused military operations against more or less 162 members of LTG-Maute Group in Piagapo Complex, Lanao del Sur in the midnight of April 21.
The operation was conducted in accordance to the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to destroy local terrorists groups not later than July 31, 2017.
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, public affairs officer of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, noted that as of Monday the military has recorded a total of 36 Maute group members that were killed during the three days of combat operation.
She said three fatalities were recovered by authorities, and these includes two foreign looking individuals who were “probably Indonesian” nationals.
Herrera said three soldiers sustained bullet and shrapnel wounds during the operation.
She said the military operation has led to seizure and occupation of enemy’s main encampment with fortified bunkers, fighting positions, and running trenches at Sitio Pagalungan, Brgy Gacap, Municipality of Piagapo, Lanao del Sur.
Herrera also noted various war materials which includes “fragmentation and rifle grenades; improvised explosive device components such as blasting caps, detonating wire, and cell phones; video camera; assorted uniforms, literature’ and identifications of personalities; three motorcycles; food stuffs; and passport of an Indonesian national” were also recovered at the encounter site.
The military said the successful operation “is the result of a nonstop collaboration and partnership with the military, LGUs and populace in the collective battle against terrorism, banditry and criminality.”
“Interagency and law enforcement operations in support of the Police and LGUs are continuously being implemented by the military in various places to prevent LTGs diversionary attacks.” Robina Asido/DMS