By Bonita Ermac
ILIGAN CITY – Government troops belonging to the Army’s 55th and 82nd Infantry battalion clashed with remnants of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute terror group in the hinterlands of Balindong in Lanao del Sur, leaving one soldier dead, and five others wounded.
Slain was Private Ellasar B. Palma, while those wounded were Second Lt. Edon John Sumpay, Private Almie S. Maputi, Private First Class (PFC) Jeson Orias, Sgt. Rodgen Pumares and PFC Alony Gado, Jr.
According to Col. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, 103rd Infantry Brigade Commander, the terror group remnants, numbering about 20, also suffered casualties during the encounter due to bloodstains seen along their withdrawal route.
“In the last few days, the security forces have taken their camps and security layer positions. Your forces will continue to pursue them with the ultimate objective of defeating terrorism in Lanao province,” said Cuerpo.
Meanwhile, the five wounded troopers were brought to the headquarters of the First Infantry (Tabak) Division Station Hospital.
Brig. Gen. Generoso Ponio, Ist Infantry (Tabak) Division Commander, pinned the Wounded Personnel Medal on the injured troops, Monday.
“We also extend our deepest sympathies to the bereaved families and friends of our soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice in protecting the people against the terrorist group and we salute his gallantry and bravery,” added Ponio.
Additional troops were sent to the area to pursue the fleeing terrorists, as well as ensure the safety and security of the local populace in the area.