Troops re­cover 30 firearms in Marawi clear­ing ops

Sun.Star Davao - - SOUTHERN -

ZAM­BOANGA CITY – Se­aborne per­son­nel have dis­cov­ered 30 as­sorted high-pow­ered firearms in Lake Lanao be­lieved to have been dis­posed by ter­ror­ists who fled from Marawi City, the mil­i­tary re­ported on Mon­day.

Brig. Gen. Roseller Murillo, Army’s 1st In­fantry Di­vi­sion com­man­der, said the firearms were re­cov­ered at around 7 a.m. Sun­day at the lake area in front one of the build­ings that served as the last stand of the Maute group in Barangay Marin­aut, Marawi City.

Re­cov­ered were the fol­low­ing firearms: one cal­iber 50 ma­chine gun; three M-60 ma­chine guns; 12 M-14 ri­fles; four cal­iber 50 sniper ri­fles; two AK-47 ri­fles; two car­bine ri­fles; three FAL ri­fles; one M-79 ri­fle; and, two M-16 ri­fles.

“More search and clear­ing op­er­a­tions are un­der­way. The re­cov­ered ar­ma­ments are now in our cus­tody while proper doc­u­men­ta­tion and la­bel­ing are be­ing un­der­taken by our troops,” Murillo added.

Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., deputy com­man­der of Task Force Marawi, said it is be­lieved the ter­ror­ist threw their weapons into the lake dur­ing the last hours of the fire­fight when they sensed de­feat.

Lt. Gen. Car­l­ito Galvez Jr., Western Min­danao Com­mand (West­min­com) chief, said they de­ployed four scuba divers from the Naval Forces Western Min­danao (NFWM) to help in the clear­ing op­er­a­tion in Marawi City.

“I would like to con­grat­u­late our sol­diers in Marawi (City) for this re­cent ac­com­plish­ment,” Galvez said.

“May this in­spire them to bol­ster their in­tel­li­gence ef­forts in order to up­root and re­cover other ar­ma­ments that could be left by the ter­ror­ists in the area,” he added.

“The like­li­hood that there could be more hid­den ar­ma­ments is very high,” he fur­ther said.

The Joint Task Force Ranao is also con­duct­ing sus­tained se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions out­side the for­mer Main Bat­tle Area in Marawi City to pur­sue other al­lied ter­ror­ist groups par­tic­u­larly to­wards south­ern por­tion of Lanao del Sur.

“We will in­clude these newly re­cov­ered firearms to be de­stroyed and demil­i­ta­rized sched­uled later this month,” Galvez said.

“We will be work­ing for a gun-free as well as a drug-free Marawi,” he added.

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