Troops overrun Maute camp in Lanao Sur; 3 dead, 3 arrested

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 26 January) — Government troops on Friday overran an encampment of the Islamic State-Maute Group after a day of fighting that left three Army soldiers wounded in Lanao del Sur, three enemies killed and three others arrested.

Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., commanding officer of the Army 103rdBrigade said the troops found three dead bodies of Maute-IS members when they seized the camp in the hinterland barangay Sumalindao in Sultan Dumalundong town in Lanao del Sur Friday morning.

Camp of Maute-IS seized by troops from the 103rd Infantry Brigade in Sultan Dumalundong, Lanao del Sur on Friday, 25 January 2019. Photo courtesy of 103rd IB

Troops also arrested three Maute-IS fighters late Friday, January 25.

The rest of the rebels including their leader Owaida Benito Marohombsar alias Abu Dar, managed to escape before the troops came in.

Abu Dar is the leader of Dawlah Islamiyah, remnants of the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group that attacked Marawi City in 2017.

He is said to have been appointed as emir of all ISIS factions in southern Philippines replacing Isnilon Hapilon who was slain in Marawi City, along with Omar Maute on October 16, 2017. A day after they were killed, President Rodrigo Duterte declared Marawi “liberated” from the terrorist influence.

Brawner said they launched a brigade-size operation involving two Army battalions after they located the camp whose location was revealed by Maute surrenderers.

Several 105 howitzers and a pair of MG 250 gunships bombarded the camp before troops of the 55th Infantry Battalion led the final assault. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)