Military, police seize improvised bombs, arrest five suspected terrorists in Maguindanao
The military and police seized improvised bombs and apprehended five suspected terrorists in a counter-terrorist operation in Maguindanao on Saturday morning.
Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, commander of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion, said the operation in the area of Damakling village, Paglat, Maguindanao around 5 am was made following the reported presence of bombs.
“Our informant showed us pictures of terrorist bombers Ustadz Yasser Saligan and his cohort, Sheik Makakena alias Abu Jihad as they detonated a bomb to test it...We had been tracking the suspects since November 2018,” he said.
“Under the cover of darkness, the combined elements of the 33rd Infantry Battalion, 4th Special Action Battalion, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-ARMM and Maguindanao Provincial Police Office, swooped down on the known terrorist lair at around 3 am,” he added.
Cabunoc said government forces apprehended that five suspects, seized four improvised bombs and three Cal .45 M1911AI pistol.
But Cabunoc admitted that the primary target of their operation were able to escape.
“Two of the primary suspects, Abu Jihad and Ustadz Yasser, eluded arrest by jumping into the murky water of the Liguasan Marsh upon sensing the presence of government troops,” he said.
Cabunoc said the apprehended suspects were turned over to village officials after confirming their identities.
At around 10 am of the same day, Cabunoc said five other BIFF members under the faction led by Commander Mayogantong Bansil, who had allegedly been involved in several atrocities against government troops and civilians surrendered to authorities in Makainis village, General Salipada K Pendatun in Maguindanao.
He said Bansil and his men gave up four high-powered firearms including a cal. 50 sniper rifle, two M1 Garand rifles, and a 40 mm M79 grenade launcher.
The weapons will be presented to Brigadier General Robert Dauz, the commander of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, the unit that has operational control over the 33rd Infantry Battalion, Cabunoc said. Robina Asido/DMS