Terrorists killed in Lanao del Sur ops rise to 7

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star
Terrorists killed in Lanao del Sur ops rise to 7
The military presents high-powered firearms, rocket-propelled grenades, bullets and bombs recovered from members of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute terrorist group in Lanao del Sur in this photo courtesy of the 103rd Infantry Brigade.
STAR / File

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The number of Islamic State-linked Dawlah Islamiya-Maute terrorist group members killed in a military offensive in Maguing, Lanao del Sur on Tuesday has climbed to seven.

Three more bodies were recovered during clearing operations on Wednesday, Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., Western Mindanao Command chief, said.

Four other terrorists had earlier been confirmed dead.

A soldier was killed and five other government troopers were also wounded in the operation.

Rosario said 45 high-powered firearms, including crew-served weapons, shoulder-fired rockets and bombs, aside from packs of shabu weighing five kilos were recovered at the terrorists’ lair in Barangay Ilalag, which the military has seized.

He commended the troops during his visit to the headquarters of the 103rd Infantry Brigade (IB) yesterday.

Lanao del Sur information officer Jeannie Tamayo said the military gave assurance that there is no more Dawlah Islamiya camp in the area.

MILF not a target

Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, 103rd IB commander, denied reports that members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were targeted in the military offensive.

“Our partners from the MILF are with us in this fight against the Dawlah Islamiya in Lanao del Sur. Their support is very much appreciated,” he said.

Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Col. Ramon Zagala said AFP officials would meet with representatives of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to clarify reports that the encounter was between the military and MILF men.

”There is probably a misunderstanding... Definitely the MILF is never a target. They are our partners in peace,” Zagala said.

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim released a statement expressing optimism that ”no further confrontations take place.”

Ebrahim noted that the Bangsamoro government is ”making sure that the ongoing ceasefire between the MILF and the AFP will produce positive outcomes and provide permanent resolution to the conflict.” – Ralph Edwin Villanueva, John Unson

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