Army nabs 11 Maute terror group members in Lanao Sur

Army troopers hunting down the Maute group in Butig, Lanao del Sur. MindaNews file photo by Froilan Gallardo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 May) – Army troopers have arrested 11 suspected members of the Maute terrorist group in a secluded village of Marogong town in Lanao del Sur early morning Monday.

Maj. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, commander of the Army’s 6th “Kampilan” Infantry Division, confirmed the arrest after troops from the 6th Infantry Battalion and other support security forces swooped down a village in Marogong and searched three houses where the suspected members of the Maute group were found.

“We have initiated surveillance and verification for quite a long time after the suspicious sighting and movement of these armed men believed to be members of the Maute group and today we confirmed their presence in the place,” Dela Vega said.

MindaNews learned operatives from the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group were with the Army but they could not be reached yet for additional information yet.

At least eight high-powered firearms were reportedly confiscated from the lair of the suspects. These include a home-made rifle patterned after the high-caliber Barrett sniper rifle, 60mm mortar grenade launcher, M-60 machine gun, M-14 rifle, M-16 rifle, M1 Garand rifle, a carbine and ammunitions.

Dela Vega said the operatives surprised the suspects and were thus not able to fire their guns anymore.

The Army has not yet provided the name of the arrested suspects while interrogation is still being conducted as of press time in the main camp of the 6IB in Malabang, Lanao del Sur.

The raid came after an Ulama Summit in Cotabato City that ended Sunday where Muslim leaders came to gather with government and security officials and non-government organizations to fight violent extremism and terror attacks. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)