Maute Group member killed in encounter

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 25 January) — An alleged member of the IS-linked Maute Group was was killed in an encounter wirh government troops in a forest between the towns of Balindong and Piagapo in Lanao del Sur on Friday afternoon.

Col. Jose Maria Cuerpo, commander of the Army 103rd infantry Brigade identified the slain suspect as Jarir S. Usman, 28, a resident of Barangay Raya Saduc in Marawi City.

Buildings lay in ruins after the 5-month battle to retake Marawi City from ISIS-inspired terrorists. This is the view from the other side of the lake on 24 October 2017. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Cuerpo said Usman was identifed through his school ID issued by the Mindanao State University in 2015.

“His parents also identified him when they viewed his body,” he said.

According to Curerpo, troops from the 28th Infantry Batallion surprised Usman and six of his companions walking in the forest late Friday afternoon.

He said they learned of the route they were taking after informants told them of their activity.

“When we analyzed the numerous information we received, we noticed the forest was a common factor in all of them. We decided to strike,” Cuerpo said.

The Maute Group has been reduced to ragtag bands after government troops retook Marawi City which they seized and controlled for five months.

The Marawi Siege is one of the longest urban guerrilla warfare in the Philippines. At least 300,000 residents were displaced. Residents in the 24-barangay ‘Ground Zero,’ have yet to return to their villages, nearly three yars later.

Maute Group’s leaders, Abdullah and Omar Maute, and the Abu Sayaff’s Isnilon Hapilon, the Islamic State’s Emir in Southeast Asia, were killed during the five month fighting in Marawi City. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)