Government troops kill three DI-MG terrorist in Lanao del Sur clash

ILIGAN CITY -- Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr. confirmed that three local terrorist group members were killed in an encounter with government forces in Maguing, Lanao del Sur on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

While conducting combat operation in Barangay Ilalag, Municipality of Maguing, at about 7:25 a.m., troops of the 51st and 55th Infantry Battalions encountered more or less 60 armed terrorists believed to be members of the Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group under Abu Zacariah.

A firefight ensued which lasted for three hours after which enemies scampered into different directions, the military said.

The heavy gunfight resulted in the deaths of three Daulah Islamiyah members and one soldier. Four other soldiers were wounded during the clash.

The casualties were immediately extricated from the area for medical attention. Their identities are withheld pending notification of their next of kin.

The troops scoured the clash site and recovered three cadavers; two cal. 50 machine guns; one cal. 30 machine gun; one M16, one AK47, one M14, and one Garand rifles; 3 rocket-propelled grenade launchers; 22 improvised explosive devices; 100 rounds of cal. 50 ammunition; one link for cal. 30; 150 rounds 7.62mm cartridge; 50 rounds of cal. 40 ammunition; one cal. 40 magazine; four M14 magazines; several anti-personnel mines and other components; and the personal belongings of the terrorists.

On the same day, at around 2 a.m., close air support was conducted targeting the stronghold of the Daulah Islamiyah under Abu Zacariah. This was followed by the combat operation which resulted in the bloody encounter.

103rd Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Jose Maria R Cuerpo II said they have been tracking the terrorist group since January.

Faharudin Hadji Satar, a.k.a. Zakaria/Abu Zacariah/Omar/Jer Mimbantas is the top leader of the Daulah Islamiyah operating in Lanao del Sur.

He was involved in several encounters against government forces in the municipalities of Sultan Dumalondong, Pagayawan, Madalum, Piagapo, and Balindong, in Lanao del Sur province.

He has a standing warrant of arrest for kidnapping, serious illegal detention, murder, and frustrated murder. He operates in the tri-boundaries of Piagapo, Madalum, and Balindong.

The Westmincom chief said: “To all the peace-loving citizens of Lanao del Sur, just remain calm and allow us to do our job. Your armed forces will not allow these terrorists to inflict harm on your respective communities. We will not stop until these lawless elements are completely crushed.”

“While we continue to operate, we call for prayers for the eternal repose of the soul of our fallen soldier and the speedy recovery of our wounded comrades,” Rosario added.

Maj. Gen. Generoso "Gene" Ponio, 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division commander also assured the public that the Philippine Army and other security forces on the ground will work together to defeat the terror groups and end the insurgency in the region and in the whole of Mindanao.

Maguing Mayor Fahad Molok said around 1,217 families have been evacuated due to the firefight and are temporarily staying with their relatives living in other barangays and municipalities.

"May mga 50 individuals na bakwit na nandito sa ating pangangalaga, (We have around 50 individuals under our care) and we are expecting helping hands from the province and BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) today," said Molok.

"As of today, March 2, 2022, wala na pong putukan na nangyayari sa ating munisipyo (there is no more gunfight happening in our municipality)," Molok added.