Security forces raid terrorists’ hideout in Lanao Sur, 11 people arrested
MAGUINDANAO – Security forces raided a hideout of a Filipino jihadist Maute group and arrested 11 people in Lanao del Sur on Monday as operations continue against their companions in the troubled province, officials said.
Officials said policemen and soldiers also seized assorted weapons, including a machine gun and an antitank rocket from the hideout in the village of Romagondong in Marogong town. The operation was so carefully hatched that all those arrested were caught by surprise by the raid and were not able to fight back security forces.
Those arrested have been identified as Abdullah Daos, Nasif Esmael, Gutingon Alah, Tayro Mamanoc, Ekmad Esmail, Alvin Adam, Monib Gutumongan, Ibrahim Caronan, Cayrodin Ditarongan, Camsi Lao, and Gaso Mazo Badua. All of them were being interrogated by authorities and initial investigations showed that the group may be planning to launch fresh attacks.
“As per initial debriefing from the arrested personalities, the Maute group is using the place as staging areas whenever they plan to conduct atrocities and bombing of different targets. They also revealed that most of the time, they provide and prepare the logistical requirements of their fellow Maute group members when planning for a specific terror act,” said Major General Arnel dela Vega, commander of the 6th Infantry Division.
He said the raiders seized one 60mm mortar, one M60 machine gun, one Barrette sniper rifle, one B40 rocket-propelled grenade, one M14 rifle, one M16 rifle, one Garand rifle, and one Carbine rifle.
Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr, chief of the Western Mindanao Command, praised the capture of the militants and lauded troops for the successful mission. He said the Maute group continues to recruit members, especially the youth, and is believed to be working with other militants from the Ansar Khilafah Philippines operating in Mindanao.