Military on the hunt for suspected Maute fighters

Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2018 09:07 AM

ILIGAN -Military troops continue to search for 10 suspected members of the Islamic State-linked Maute terrorist group following twin clashes in Lanao del Sur.

Colonel Romeo Brawner of the 103rd Brigade told ABS-CBN News that the 10 terrorists were believed to have been killed after state forces sunk the boat carrying them in Lanao Lake. None of the bodies of the armed men have been found. 

The military said the group that figured in the encounter was led by alias Najib Pundog. 

The first encounter occurred in the town of Masiu last Saturday, where 6 soldiers were hurt; while the second erupted in Pagayawan, where two soldiers were wounded.

Recovered from the area were rocket-propelled grenades, launchers, fuses, ammunition, grenade, drug paraphernalia, an Islamic State flag and a prayer written in Maranao.

Meanwhile, townsfolk say that the military only responded to warring families, locally known as "rido," and the armed men were not Maute terrorists.

The clashes against Maute terrorists were the first since the siege of Marawi City, a 5-month war that led to the death of over a thousand people, ended last year.