A MILITARY intelligence officer and one of his men were killed while another was injured following a clash with members of the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City on Thursday, an official said on Friday.
Lieutenant Colonel Benidicto Manquiquis, public affairs officer of the Army's 1st Infantry Division, said the soldiers from the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP) were on an intelligence operation when the fighting took place.
Manquiquis named the fatalities as Major Jerico Mangalus and Corporal Bryan Libot and the wounded as Corporal Rolando Cartilla, all assigned with ISAFP'S Military Intelligence Group 10.
Mangalus is a member of the Philippine Military Academy class of 2002.
The dead and the wounded soldiers were brought to the Amal Pakpak Hospital in Marawi City.
Manquiquis said the soldiers were aboard an Isuzu Crosswind van when they clashed with the local terrorist group members on board a Toyota Corolla car in Barangay Lilod Madaya around 5:30 p.m.
Manquiquis said the soldiers were on "intelligence operations" at that time but could not immediately give additional details.
"They are from the local terrorist Maute terrorist group," said Manquiquis when asked of the armed group's affiliation.
Manquiquis said the firefight lasted for around 10 minutes. The Maute group members fled with undetermined number of casualties, he added.
Manquiquis said troops from the Army's 65th Infantry Battalion "conducted pursuit operations on identified enemy withdrawal area while checkpoints were conducted in Marawi City."
The military setback came in the middle of a military effort to defeat the Maute Group, the Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist groups in Mindanao during the first six months of the year. (VR/SunStar Philippines)