Seven killed, including Maute/ISIS leader, in Lanao del Sur
Seven persons, including the head of the Maute/ISIS Group and three soldiers, were killed while three were missing in an encounter in Lanao del Sur Thursday afternoon.
Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, said the military received reports Abu Dar is among the fatalities in the clash in Barangay Dinaigan, Tubaran.
Besana said this is still subject to "further validation".
He said the military recovered the bodies of two Maute fighters while reports say two more were killed.
Besana said troops of 49th Infantry Battalion were scouring the area of Barangay Dinaigan, Tubaran when they engaged 10 Maute fighters at 5:04 pm.
“The gunfight ensured for an hour and 30 minutes, resulting in deaths of two Maute fighters, whose remains were retrieved from the encounter site by the engaged troops,” he said.
“Meanwhile, three soldiers died while three more are missing in action in yesterday’s gunfight,” he added.
Besana said remains of the slain soldiers were transported to Iligan City for proper disposition.
Despite the death of the three soldiers, Lt. General Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command chief emphasized that government troops become more motivated to fight against enemies of the state.
“We console with the families of our departed comrades, who fought valiantly and paid the ultimate sacrifice. We lost not only brave warriors but comrades who served the nation with such devotion,” he said.
Besana added that troops also seized two caliber 5.56 rifles with an M 203 grenade launcher, a caliber .45 pistol, hand and rifle grenades, pieces of ammunition, and a bandolier during the operation. Robina Asido/DMS