Retaliation eyed in ambush of Marines in Lanao Sur

A scene after the ambush in Barangay Cabasaran, Marogong, Lanao del Sur. Contributed Photo

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 06 February) – Officials of the Philippine National Police and Philippine Marines said the ambush of members of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-2 (MBLT-2) in Lanao Del Sur could be a retaliation after security forces foiled an attempt by suspected members of a group with alleged links to the ISIS to build a training camp in the area.

Killed in the attack on Saturday afternoon in Barangay Cabasaran, Marogong town was Marine Sgt Tonti Melbert Pamaran while wounded were Cpl. Mark Anthony Bañares, Sgt. Jeram Aradji and Sgt. Joan Aniñon.

“It’s possibly a retaliation,” according to Major Alvison Mustapha, spokesperson of the Lanao Del Sur police when asked what could be the possible motive of the attack.

He pointed to a group allegedly formed by remnants of Dawla Islamiya led by Faharuddin Hadjisatar, a.k.a. Abu Zacariah, as the perpetrators of the attack.

He said charges will be filed Monday in the local court against Hadjisatar, the alleged new ISIS emir in Southeast Asia.

Police said Hadjisatar has outstanding warrants of arrest.

Lt. Joseph Chicano of the Marogong Municipal Police Station said they received a call around 3:55 p.m. about the ambush.

Lt. Col. Sergio Reyes Ronquillo, battalion commander of MBLT-2, said his soldiers were conducting community relations in the barangay when ambushed.

Recovered from the scene of the ambush were empty shells from a 5.56 mm rifle. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)