AFP: Maute Group ‘at the brink’ of collapse
THE Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group (DI-MG) is “already at the brink of collapse” amid the series of military and law enforcement operations against the group, a military official said Tuesday, February 13, 2024.
In a press conference, AFP spokesperson Colonel Francel Padilla said that from January 25, 2024, amid operations particularly against the leadership and perpetrators of the Mindanao State University (MSU) bombing, 18 DI-MG members and key leaders were neutralized.
Of the 18, 12 were killed, three surrendered and three were arrested.
Among those killed is DI-MG leader Khadafi Mimbesa, also known as Engineer,” who was tagged as the brains behind the MSU explosion in December 2023.
Also among the fatalities were Saumay Saiden alias Omar, subleader and cell/team leader of the group who rigged and detonated the improvised explosive device (IED) in MSU, and Abdul Hadi, who assembled the IED.
Arsani Membisa alias Khatab was among the three DI-MG members who surrendered to the government forces.
Padilla said these gains by the military “significantly decapitated” the group’s ability to launch large-scale terroristic attacks.
“The death of alias Omar and Engineer, as well as the surrender of alias Khatab brought the DI-MG leadership in disarray. Alias Engineer who has good leadership and sympathy with his comrades and alias Khatab with a wide network in Lanao del Norte due to family ties and strong personality greatly affected the group’s ability to operate,” she said.
“Overall, the intelligence and decisive military operation greatly hampered the DI-MG’s capability to carry out another act of terrorism that could instill fear and intimidation in the community,” she added.
The DI-MG was behind the five-month Marawi City siege, which started on May 23, 2017, resulting in the death of at least 1,200 individuals, mostly government troops.
Meanwhile, in the fight against insurgency, Padilla said that since January 2024, 198 communist terrorist group members were neutralized.
Of the number, 172 surrendered, 13 were apprehended and 13 were killed.
A total of 79 high- and low- powered firearms and 18 IEDs were either seized or surrendered from the CTG members. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)