3 soldiers, motorcycle driver killed in ambush in Lanao del Norte

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 15 January) — Three soldiers and a civilian on board a hired motorcycle were killed in an ambush by suspected Dawla Islamiyah fighters in Lanao del Norte on Thursday morning, police said.

A  family on board a Toytota Hilux pick-up was caught in the crossfire, one of them injured.

Police Captain Francisco Sabud Jr., Officer-in-Charge of the Philippine National Police Region 10 Information Office identified the victims as Corporals Albert Suara and Bryan Binayog; and Private First Class Albert Soriano, all members of the Army’s 2nd Mechanized Brigade in Lanao del Norte.

Camilo Andog, the driver of the hired motorcycle, was also killed.

Poona Piagapo and Pantao Ragat in Lanao del Norte. Map courtesy of Google Maps

Sabud said the soldiers, who were in civilian clothes were bound for Balo-i town for marketing chores when the suspected militants ambushed them along the Radapan bridge in the boundary of Poona Piagapo and Pantao Ragat towns in Lanao del Norte at around 9 a.m.

He said the soldiers came from their detachment at the 43rd company of the 4th Mechanized Battalion.

Sabud identified the civilian injured in the Toyota Hilux as Hadji Amen Sumagumba, who suffered a bullet wound on his chin and was brought to a hospital in Iligan City.

He said the perpetrators are believed to be members of the Dawla Islamiyah, allegedly remnants of the Maute terror group that laid siege on Marawi City in 201, after authorities failed to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, believed to be the Emir of the ISIS in Southeast Asia.

“The group is now highly active again in these areas where they recruiting their new members,” he told Mindanews by phone.

Sabud said responding policemen found the soldiers and the civilian already dead on the highway. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)