Military operations against members of the Maute Group who occupied a portion of the abandoned Butig town in Lanao Del Sur has so far caused the death of 11 of the brigands and wounding of two soldiers, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said Sunday.
“The recent action of the lawless Maute Group in occupying an abandoned portion of Butig municipality 9 a.m. of 26 November 2016 has driven the people from other areas of the town to flee their homes,” he added.
This incursion has prompted the AFP to conduct operations aimed at driving away the bandits, Arevalo said.
“Two soldiers were slightly wounded while 11 members of Maute Group were killed and at least five wounded,” Arevalo said.
Around 50 to 100 bandits were seen in the locality which was abandoned Friday by residents after receiving reports that the terrorists will attack the town again.
“The group has reportedly raised the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) flag which was expected since they have long been professing allegiance to the foreign terror group. This is still part of the Maute Group’s agenda in courting support and encouraging similar minded individuals to support ISIS,” he added.
“The AFP will continue to frustrate their sinister objectives as was manifested by the military’s forthwith and continuing action in preventing the situation from escalating or spilling to other areas,” the military official said.