Duterte says ISIS “connected” with terror group waging “war” in Lanao del Sur
President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed on Monday the connection of the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria with the local terror Maute Group which is fighting the military s in Lanao del Sur.
In a speech during the inauguration and ceremonial switch-on ceremony of the 135-megawatt power plant of the Palm Concepcion Power Corp. in Malacanang, Duterte said said he received a report from the intelligence community.
"We are not good today because finally, finally the intelligence community advised me that ISIS is connected with a group in the Philippines called Maute. There is a waging war now in Lanao," Duterte said.
Government troops have been fighting the Maute Group since Saturday after the bandits occupied an abandoned municipal hall in Butig, Lanao del Sur. The bandits have flown a flag of ISIS in Butig town.
Duterte said he will go to Marawi City and express his support to the government forces in Butig.
At least 19 bandits have been killed and 13 soldiers have been wounded in the ongoing clash.
Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, said based on intelligence information by the military a total of 19 members of the Maute Brothers Group members were killed during the ongoing battle with the military forces.
Padilla said more soldiers were sent to the area while Philippine Air Force assets, including the SF260 and OV10 light attack aircraft, supported ground troops.
He said aside from the old municipal building in Brgy. Bayabao, some members of the Maute Brothers’ Group occupied a nearby school building and other civilian establishments.
Padilla said supporters and relatives of the Maute Brothers Group members were still on the areas affected by the conflict. Celerina Monte, Robina Asido/DMS