Security forces hunt down jihadist group in Lanao Sur
KIDAPAWAN CITY – Security forces were hunting down local jihadists allied with the Islamic State militant group after they behaded 2 civilians and freed four others in Lanao del Sur provnce in the volatile Muslim autonomous region.
The four hostages – Julieto Hanobas, Alfredo Anoos, Gabriel Permites and Adones Mendez – were released recently in Butig town. Their two companions dentified as Salvador Hanobas and Makol Hanobas, whoe were branded as spy by their abductors, were killed.
The civilians, all sawmill workers, were seized by jihadists led by Abdullah Maute alias Abu Hasan, who heads the Dawlah Islamiyah or Islamic State on suspicion they were government spies. Maute’s group is actively operating in the province.
Maute previously demanded the release of a 13-year old boy, Ayman, who was allegedly captured by the military in firefight in exchange for the hostages, but security officials insisted that no prisoners were taken by soldiers in Lanao del Sur, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.
Prior to the release of the hostages, the jihadist group also uploaded photos of the hostages wearing orange jumpsuit suit on the IS website.
The hostages in this screen shot of the IS website. (Mindanao Examiner Photo -Moh Saaduddin)