MILITARY troops in Marawi City recovered from Lake Lanao 30 assorted firearms, which were believed to have been thrown by members of the Islamic State-linked Maute group while attempting to escape from the main battle area, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced on Monday.
Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., Task Group Ranao deputy commander, said the search and clearing operations over Lake Lanao were conducted by joint forces composed of troops from the 55th Infantry Battalion, Scout Ranger Class 202, 1st Scout Rangers Battalion, military engineer unit, mechanized units, explosive and ordnances division personnel and waterborne units from the 6th Special Forces Battalion and 12th Division Reconnaissance Command.
The operations were done in Lake Lanao near the Bandaringin Mosque, Barangay Marinaut, Marawi City on Sunday.
During the search, Brawner said one of the members of the military teams saw one weapon visible from the surface of Lake Lanao and dove to get it, as the rest followed.
“It is believed that the terrorists, during the last hours of the firefight when they have smelled defeat and when they were about to make their final escape, threw their weapons into the lake,” Brawner said in a statement.
He added that the military was assuming more firearms were still underwater and that search and clearing operations over Lake Lanao would continue. DEMPSEY REYES