3 Mautes slain in Lanao del Sur ground, air strikes

Roel Pareño, John Unson (The Philippine Star) - February 16, 2021 - 12:00am

LANAO DEL SUR, Philippines — Three suspected Maute terrorists were killed when Army troopers launched ground and air strikes that resulted in the capture of the bandits’ lair in Madamda town in this province on Sunday.

The clash erupted when the terrorists opened fire at members of the Army’s 1st Scout Ranger Battalion, who were responding to reports about an encampment in Barangay Bawang.

Village officials and police sour-ces identified the fatalities as Samier Akaraman, Pendar Alongan and Amerodin Lanting.

Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, chief of the anti-terror Task Force Zampelan, said residents informed the military that three terrorists were killed in the incident.

Ponio said the Army could not confirm the report without an actual body count of he fatalities.

Local officials said the bandits immediately took the bodies of their slain comrades before the Army’s 1st Field Artillery Battalion could fire cannons from a nearby base.

The Maute camp had 20 foxholes and two makeshift shelters that could accommodate no fewer than 50 people.

Ponio said the intermittent firefight lasted seven hours before the troops overran the camp.

He said the ground forces launched the fiercest attack, for-cing the bandits to stop firing and take cover in foxholes.

“We deployed air and artillery troops to conduct an assault, forcing the enemies to abandon their position,” Ponio said.

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