Shelling kills seven in Butig, Lanao del Sur

MARAWI CITY -- Citing civilian accounts, a top official of the Philippine Army said airstrikes and shelling Saturday, September 17, directed at a camp in Butig, Lanao del Sur occupied by the Maute terror group killed at least seven alleged terrorists.

Army Colonel Roseller Murillo, commander of the Army’s 103rd Brigade based in Kampo Ranao in Marawi City, said the bombardment is part of ongoing operations against the Maute group.

Murillo said civilian accounts report the recovery of seven bodies by members of the Maute group in a grassy area near Camp Darul Iman, formerly an abandoned Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) encampment.

Murillo said the former MILF camp was also the subject of military operations from May to June 3 this year.

He said the newly arrived 49th Infantry Battalion from 9th Infantry Division based in the Bicol Region was also deployed in Butig early this week to go after members of the Maute group.

Lieutenant Colonel Arnel Bautista, commanding officer of 49th IB, said troops have been conducting ground patrol in some parts of Butig.

The military had launched operations against the terror group in the wake of an attack by the Maute group against the Lanao del Sur Provincial Jail in the city last August 27.

About 50 heavily armed members of the group had raided the provincial jail in Barangay Mapandi, Marawi City to free eight of their comrades.

The raid also freed 15 other inmates.

None of the escaped inmates have so far been re-captured.
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