5 killed in Lanao Sur AFP ops vs terrorists

Roel Pareño, John Unson - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Two more members of the Islamic State-linked Dawlah Islamiya-Maute group were killed in a military offensive in Maguing, Lanao del Sur on Tuesday, bringing the death toll among the terrorists to four, police and military officials confirmed yesterday.

Pvt. Clint Ray Armada of the 55th Infantry Battalion is the lone fatality on the side of the government. Four other government troopers were wounded.

The military said three machine guns, an M16 rifle, an M14, an AK-47 Kalashnikov, a Garand, three rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices and assorted bullets were recovered at the scene.

Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II of the 103rd Infantry Brigade said state troopers seized the lair of the terrorist group led by Faharudin Hadji Satar, alias Abu Zacaria, following air strikes and artillery attacks.

“We conducted operations four days ago and our troops noticed it was difficult to penetrate the lair since it was equipped with high-powered firearms. I decided to conduct close air support. After that, the troops penetrated the lair, resulting in the encounter from morning until 4 p.m.,” Cuerpo said.

He said the terrorist camp was about a kilometer away from a community area of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“That is also what we are trying to find out – why the terrorists established their lair in the area,” Cuerpo said.

Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., Western Mindanao Command chief, said the military operation would continue to go after the remnants of the terrorist group in Lanao del Sur.

Soldiers remained in Maguing yesterday to prevent the terrorists from returning.



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