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Lanao cops, soldiers on alert vs terrorist retaliatory attacks

John Unson - The Philippine Star
Lanao cops, soldiers on alert vs terrorist retaliatory attacks
Officials of the Bangsamoro regional police lead the deployment of more police personnel in Marogong, Lanao del Sur on May 29, 2023.
The STAR / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Police and the military have tightened security at the border of Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte to thwart possible attacks by Dawlah Islamiya terrorists

Authorities said the terrorist group could be planning to avenge the death of their three comrades in a series of encounters that also killed six Army soldiers in Munai, Lanao del Norte on Sunday.

Local officials said seven terrorists, not three as earlier reported, were killed in the firefights that broke out in the hinterlands of Barangay Ramain.

The Army fatalities were identified as Cpls. Rey Anthony Salvador, Reland Tapinit and Rodel Mobida; Pfc. Arnel Tornito, and Pvts. Michael John Lumingkit and James Porras.

“We are not taking chances. We are guarding against possible retaliations by the terrorists. This group is known for attacking people to avenge their comrades killed in clashes with government forces,” Bangsamoro police director Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza said yesterday.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Roy Galido told journalists that they received information that seven terrorists were killed in the encounter in Barangay Ramain.

Galido said the Army could not confirm the figure without the actual body count.

Sources said two of the wounded terrorists were cousins of Khadafi Mimbesa, mastermind of a bomb attack on Mindanao State University in Marawi City in December.

The victims were attending a mass at the university’s gymnasium when a bomb exploded.

The explosion killed four people and wounded more than 40 others.

Mimbesa was one of nine Dawlah Islamiya terrorists killed in a military operation in Piagapo, Lanao del Sur on Jan. 26.

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