3 local terrorists neutralized, firearms seized in Lanao del Sur

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Three local terrorist group members were killed in an encounter with the government forces in Maguing, Lanao del Sur Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

While conducting combat operation in Barangay Ilalag, Municipality of Maguing, at about 7:25 a.m., troops of the 51st and 55th Infantry Battalions encountered more or less 40 armed terrorists believed to be members of the Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group under Abu Zacariah. Firefight ensued which lasted for three hours after which enemies scampered in different directions, Western Mindanao Command Chief Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr. said.

The heavy gunfight resulted in the deaths of three Daulah Islamiyah members and one soldier. Four other soldiers incurred wounds during the clash. The battle casualties were immediately extricated from the area for medical attention. Their identities are withheld pending notifications to their next of kin.

Troops then scoured the clash site and recovered three enemy cadavers; two cal. 50 machine guns; one cal. 30 machine gun; one M16, one AK47, one M14, and one Garand rifles; 3 rocket-propelled grenade launchers; 22 improvised explosive devices; 100 rounds of cal. 50 ammunition; one link for cal. 30; 150 rounds 7.62mm cartridge; 50 rounds of cal. 40 ammunition; one cal. 40 magazine; four M14 magazines; several anti-personnel mines and other components; and enemy personal belongings.

It can be recalled that around 2 a.m., same day, close air support was conducted targeting the stronghold of the Daulah Islamiyah under Abu Zacariah. This was followed by the combat operation which resulted in a bloody encounter.

Hadji Satar, a.k.a. Zakaria/Abu Zacariah/Omar/Jer Mimbantas is the top leader of the Daulah Islamiyah operating in Lanao del Sur. He was involved in several encounters against the government forces in the municipalities of Sultan Dumalondong, Pagayawan, Madalum, Piagapo, and Balindong, all of the mentioned province. He has a standing warrant of arrest for kidnapping, serious illegal detention, murder, and frustrated member. He actively operates in the tri-boundaries of Piagapo, Madalum, and Balindong.

“To all the peace-loving citizens of Lanao del Sur, just remain calm and allow us to do our job. Your armed forces will not allow these terrorists to inflict harm on your respective communities. We will not stop until these lawless elements are completely crushed,” Lt. Gen. Rosario, Jr. stated. “While we continue to operate, we call for prayers for the eternal repose of the soul of our fallen soldier and the speedy recovery of our wounded comrades”.

Hot pursuit operations are still being conducted as of press time. — PA

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