Inmates freed as terror group raids Lanao del Sur jail
(The Philippine Star) - August 29, 2016 - 12:00am

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Heavily armed militants of the Maute terror group sprung eight of their comrades from the Lanao del Sur provincial jail in a daring attack late Saturday.

Initial reports said the militants allowed 20 other inmates to escape during the jailbreak.

Police said around 10 militants, armed with assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades, surprised the guards and forced them to set free eight of their detained comrades before escaping in four vehicles of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology that they commandeered.

The vehicles, which included a truck, were later found abandoned at the lakeshore along Barangay Calocan in Marawi City.

Five of the eight fugitives were identified as Hassim Balawag Maute, Mohammad Mulok, Jamil Amirul and Abdul Jabbar Macabading.

The eight fugitives were arrested by police in a road checkpoint in Lumbayanague town last week. They were reportedly riding a vehicle loaded with explosive devices and weapons when they were caught.

Officials said the attackers also freed more than 20 other inmates as a diversionary ploy.

Most of them were jailed for drug offenses, theft and murder.

Following the jailbreak, the regional police led by Chief Supt. Noel Constantino immediately ordered all units to search for the escaped inmates.

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police director Chief Supt. Agripino Javier added they have launched a massive manhunt for all the fugitives.

Authorities are looking into security lapses focusing on how the jail guards were disarmed by the militants.

The Maute group led by Abdullah Maute boasts of its allegiance to the ISIS. Its members, armed with assault rifles and B-40 rocket launchers, are known to carry black ISIS flags whenever they move around.

The group has carried out kidnappings and bombings and is believed to have led an attack on the Army’s 103rd Brigade headquarters in July this year. A soldier was killed in the attack.

The attackers even detonated an EID at the fence of the Army base as they fled from the scene. – Gerry Lee-Gorit

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