10 Dawlah terrorists killed in central Mindanao military assault

John Unson - Philstar.com
10 Dawlah terrorists killed in central Mindanao military assault
One of the 155 Howitzer cannons the Army used in bombarding Dawlah Islamiya enclaves at the Liguasan Delta.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Up to 10 members of the outlawed Dawlah Islamiya were killed as the military pounded with 155 Howitzer cannons and bombs dropped by aircrafts two lairs of the group in the northern side of the Liguasan Delta on Thursday morning.

The 602nd Infantry Brigade under the Army’s 6th Infantry Division launched the artillery and air offensives after local executives in the adjoining Montawal and Pagalungan towns, both in Maguindanao del Sur, and in Pikit, Cotabato reported that villagers had noticed members of the Dawlah Islamiya in swampy areas nearby, as if assembling improvised explosive devices.

The Army attack first targeted a part of the Liguasan Delta near Barangay Dalgan in Pagalungan and, subsequently, three more Dawlah Islamiya enclaves in a marshland near Kabacan and Mlang, both in Cotabato.

Villagers and barangay leaders who had temporarily relocated to safe areas had confirmed that 10 Dawlah Islamiya members were killed in the Army’s artillery barrage using new electronic, computer-controlled 105 Howitzer cannons from Israel.

“We have also received reports from people in these municipalities about that. We are initiating means of securing more details from them. From our end, we don’t have an actual count of enemy cadavers yet,” Major Gen. Alex Rillera, commander of 6th ID, said.

The evacuees identified seven of the 10 slain terrorists as the siblings Omar, Mindo and Akmad Samsudin, Sukarno Bantas and three others known to them only as Amier, Bader and Bedu, whose cadavers were reportedly loaded in small boats by companions who hastily proceeded to the southern part of the Liguasan Delta.

Senior members of different municipal peace and order councils have confirmed that besides the 10 fatalities, five other Dawlah Islamiya members, among them two nephews of a radical cleric named Ustadz Musa Guiamad, were wounded when an artillery round landed and went off about 20 meters from their position.

Thursday’s Army operation in the Liguasan Delta was preceded by the demise of 11 members of the group in a clash on Friday last week with personnel of units of the 6th ID’s 601st Infantry Brigade in Barangay Tuayan in Datu Hofer in Maguindanao del Sur.

Local executives in Datu Hofer and in nearby Datu Unsay and Datu Saudi towns had reported to the 6th ID that the 11 Dawlah Islamiya members killed in encounter, their bodies all accounted for, were out to plant roadside bombs along farm-to-market roads in different barangays whose residents are actively supporting the police and Army’s joint anti-terror campaign in Maguindanao del Sur.

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