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Military overrun armed men’s lair in Butig

 By MASIDING NOOR YAHYA
Marawi City, Lanao del Sur
February 28, 2016

The military is said to have overrun the cam
ps of armed men in Butig after a week or more of fierce fighting but the trauma left by the fighting remains a scar difficult to heal.


Reports on the casualty and wounded as well as property damaged differ from one report to another, but, at this point in time, it does not matter anyhow for the fear, suffering and phobia runs deep already.

A military official said forty-five people, including 42 terrorists, were killed while 11 others were wounded as the government forces overran the enemy stronghold in Lanao del Sur, a military official told the media Friday.

Maj. Felimon Tan, Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, told the media the troops have captured the stronghold of the terrorists before sunset Thursday in the municipality of Butig, Lanao del Sur.

Tan disclosed three of the 45 people killed were soldiers as well as all of the 11 wounded.

He said they received intelligence reports “from the ground” that the ISIS-inspired terrorists suffered 42 fighters killed.

But social media posted pictures of more about ten soldiers killed during the fight. And if we would listen to what people in Butig was saying, there were even more killed in the government troops.

Tan did not release to the media as of press time the names of the slain and wounded soldiers except to say they belong to the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade.

He said the troops have recovered high-powered firearms that included: two Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) launchers; two M-16 Armalite rifles; and, a homemade calibre .50 rifle.

According to the military reports in the media, the fighting in Butig erupted when local extremists assisted by foreign-looking terrorists attacked last Saturday an Army detachment.

It was also reported that Omar Maute, the head of the local armed group, who spearheaded the attack on the detachment of the 51st Infantry Battalion in Butig, Lanao Del Sur last Feb. 20, was killed in the incident.

The Mautes are believed to be allied to elements of the Jemaah Islamiyah and have connections to a foreign terrorist neutralized in 2012.

The military estimated that about 40 to 80 lawless elements took part in the raid along with Omar’s younger brother.

Local sources, however who preferred to be unidentified, told The New Ranao Star that they believed about 200 armed men join in the fight against the government troops.


The New Ranao Star

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