Troops overrun terrorist lair in Lanao

ZAMBOANGA CITY—Soldiers are tracking down a group of Dawlah Islamiya terrorists following ground and air assaults in the hinterlands of Lanao del Sur, officials said Monday. 

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said government troops clashed with around 15 Dawlah Islamiya members Saturday morning in Barangay Bawang. 

The troops pounded the terrorist lair with air assault and artillery fires, Vinluan said, forcing the suspects to flee. 

“We deployed air and artillery troops to conduct assault, forcing the enemies to abandon their position,” said Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, commander of the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao provinces). 

Intermittent firefight lasted for almost seven hours Ponio said. 

No one from the government side was hurt during the encounter while the military has yet to determine if there were casualties from the illegal armed group. 

“Our troops were able to penetrate the enemy’s defensive line through timely and accurate supporting fires,” said Ponio, who is also the 1st Infantry division commander. 

The Dawlah Islamiya lair, he said, has 20 foxholes and eight makeshift huts that can accommodate around 70 people.

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