COTABATO CITY (MindaNews /2 March) —Two Islamic State-inspired militants and a soldier were killed in an encounter Monday in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao, a military official said.
As of 5:30 p.m. Monday, the bursts of gunfire could still be heard in Barangay Satan in Shariff Aguak as troops from the 601st “Unifier” Brigade continued the clearing operations against the Dawlah Islamiyah, a Daesh- or Islamic State-inspired terror group.
Colonel Jose Narciso, 601st Infantry commander, said the unidentified slain individuals were followers of Salahuddin Hassan, who operates in Central Mindanao.
Their comrades, who were overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the military assault team, left the dead bodies, he said.
“We will continue the momentum and sustain the gains of this operation in order to safeguard the civilians and put an end to the threats to our society,” Narciso said.
An improvised explosive device, an improvised Barret Sniper rifle and an M-14 rifle, among others, were retrieved from the slain Islamic militants.
During the course of the close distance encounter, a soldier was also killed while another was wounded, Narciso said.
Their names, however, were not immediately made available.
Meanwhile, the assassination of an army corporal from the 90th Infantry Battalion on Sunday at the national highway in Barangay Rebuken, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao was a diversionary tactic of the Daesh-inspired groups in the area, according to Major Arvin Encinas, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command.
Nevertheless, he said that troops will continue to conduct focus military operations to neutralize the terror groups operating in the marshes of Maguindanao.