In this file photo, personnel of the Barira municipal police put up a photo gallery of key members of the Maute terror group along a highway near the border of Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.
John Unson

3 Maute terrorists killed in Lanao del Sur clash
John Unson ( - January 24, 2019 - 3:01pm

LANAO DEL SUR, Philippines — Three members of the Maute terror group that laid siege to Marawi City in 2017 were killed in an encounter with soldiers in this province Thursday.

According to reports reaching the Police Regional Office-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the hostilities along the boundary of Sultan Dumalundong and Marogong towns in Lanao del Sur erupted when Maute gunmen opened fire on soldiers who were trying to cordon off their lair there.

Combined personnel of the Army’s 49th and 55th Infantry Battalions had been dispatched to check on the reported presence there of the new leader of the Maute terror group,  Owaida Marohombsar, most known as Abu Dar.

The operation was launched after residents of Barangays Sumalindaw in Dumalundong and Piyangulugan in Marugong reported to the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade and the Lanao del Sur provincial police Abu Dar's presence there since Tuesday.

Villagers have confirmed the deaths of three Maute gunmen—Khalid Mindo, Saripada Surab and Limpok Boransing—in the ensuing encounter.

Senior Superintendent Madzgani Mukaram of the Lanao del Sur provincial police said they have set roadblocks along the highways passing through the towns to prevent Abu Dar and his men from escaping.

The Maute terror group operates in the fashion of the Islamic State. Although the government declared Marawi liberated from the terrorists in October 2017, it also said remnants of the group could still reorganize and recruit more members.

The danger posed by Maute "stragglers" contributed to a delay in the return of displaced residents from their homes in the parts of Marawi that were worst hit by the terrorist attack.

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