30 Maute-ISIS firearms recovered at Lake Lanao

Bandera (Mindanao) - - FRONT PAGE - — John Roson

GOVERNMENT forces recovered at least 30 firearms believed to have been used by the Maute-ISIS group during clearing operations at the part of Lake Lanao in Marawi City, the military said Monday.

Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Task Force Ranao, said the firearms were found at the portion of the lake near the Bandaringin Mosque, in Brgy. Marinaut, Sunday.

"During the search, a member of the search teams

saw one weapon visible from the surface and dove down to get it, and the other groups participated in the search discovering the rest," he said.

"It is believed that the terrorists, during the last hours of the firefight, smelled defeat and threw their weapons into the lake when they were about to make their final escape," Brawner added.

Those recovered underwater were a caliber-.50 machine gun, three M60 machine guns; 12 M14 rifles, four cal-.50 sniper rifles, two AK-47 rifles, two Carbine rifles, three FAL rifles, an M79 rifle, and two M16 rifles, said Brig. Gen. Roseller Murillo, Army 1st Infantry Division commander.

On Monday, scuba divers from the Naval Forces Western Mindanao in Zamboanga City were transported to Marawi to help in the clearing operations at the lake.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command chief, said it is likely that many other firearms remain hidden in Marawi.

"The likelihood that there could bemore hidden armaments is very high," he said.

Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, Wesmincom spokesperson, said Task Force Ranao is also conducting security operations outside the "main battle area" of Marawi to pursue other allied terrorist groups towards the southern portion of Lanao del Sur.

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