SIX soldiers were wounded in a clash, the first after the liberation of Marawi City, with Isis-inspired Maute gunmen in the province of Lanao del Sur, a top military official disclosed.
Major General Roseller Murillo, Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, said the firefight happened Saturday in the village of Mangondato Kalilangan, Masiu town, Lanao del Sur.
Murillo said the clash broke out when the troops launched a combat operation in response to the reported presence of a group of “Maute remnants and bombers” in Mangondato Kalilangan.
“This is the first encounter (of government forces with Maute-ISIS remnant) since the liberation of Marawi City in October 2017,” Murillo said.
Murillo said the clash lasted for about 35 minutes after which the Daesh-inspired Maute gunmen fled to different directions.
“They attempted to escape via the lake but the troops were able to sink their two motorboats with an estimated 10 gunmen aboard,” he added.
No further details were provided on the fate of the 10 gunmen.
Murillo did not identify the six wounded soldiers except to say they belong to the Joint Task Force Ranao. They were in stable condition.
He said the troops have recovered from the clash site the following: one M203 grenade launcher; two Rocket-Propelled Grenades; three anti-personnel 60-mm RPG ammunition; one anti-tank RPG ammunition; three 40-mm ammunition; one grenade; two RPG fuses; a binocular; an ISIS flag; and, several illegal drugs paraphernalia.
He said they will sustain the security efforts to prevent the Maute members from establishing Wilayat and “spreading Daesh ideology in our joint area of operation.”