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Fighting in Lanao Sur town subsides; 41 reported killed


ALI G. MACABALANG
Marawi City, Lanao del Sur
April 28, 2017

Government forces are now clearing four villages in Piagapo, Lanao del Sur after jihadist militants fled the areas following intense offensives by ground troops backed by aerial and artillery support since Saturday, according to civilian authorities.


Piagapo Mayor Ali Sumandar said the military-led clearing operations covered barangays Gacap, Tapocan, Pantaon and Tambo where suspected elements of the combined Maute and Abu Sayyaf Groups purportedly planted land mines before fleeing to different directions.

Thirty-six bandits and five civilians were reported killed during the clashes.

Central Mindanao-based reporters of national dailies including the Manila Bulletin drove on Wednesday to this town amid a supposed news black from Lanao del Sur-based military and police quarters, and opted to gather updates from civilian entities.

Sumandar said there were more than 400 families involving 2,833 individuals displaces from the four barangays, which all lie at the border of Piagapo, Balindong, and Marantao towns and this city.

Sumander added that said the military had reported 36 casualties from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf Group.

Sultan Bryan Marmay, the reigning traditional leader in Balindong’s royal houses, said he received reports from displaced residents that that four civilians and an imam were killed when a bomb hit a house in Piagapo on April 22. (mb.com)
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