Following the heavy skirmish yesterday, troops from the 103rd “Haribon” Infantry Brigade successfully overran an enemy stronghold in the hinterlands of Sultan Dumalondong, Lanao del Sur earlier today (January 25).
Recalling, troops from the 55th Infantry Battalion engaged with more or less 24 Maute remnants (also known as Dawlah Islamiyah-Lanao Group) under Abu Dar, the appointed leader of the DI-Lanao Group, in a fierce gun battle as the soldiers were approaching the remnants’ lair in Sultan Dumalondong, Lanao del Sur at 8:10am yesterday.
The firefight lasted for 10 hours and resulted to three (3) Maute-IS remnant killed, with more critically wounded, according to local sources, while three (3) government troops incurred injuries.
Sultan Dumalondong lies about 50 kilometers from Marawi City.
Lieutenant Colonel Ian Ignes, Commanding Officer of the 55IB said that they acted on the information given by the residents and the local chief executives.
“The enemy was completely taken by surprise as evident from the direction of their initial gunfire. We met fierce resistance as soon as we hit their final defensive lines,” he added.
The group has been hiding in the hinterlands of Lanao del Sur where they are well versed of the terrain.
“Despite the enemy’s advantage over the terrain, our troops were able to gain ground and managed to penetrate their defensive lines through timely and accurate supporting fires,” said Colonel Romeo S. Brawner Jr., Commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade leading the assault since Wednesday night.
Artillery and close air support were immediately provided to the engaged troops sending the DI-Lanao remnants into their bunkers.
The group then scattered for survival, abandoning their stronghold due to the intense ground and air support.
Exploitation of the site reveals several defensive positions to include running trenches and fortified bunkers. A training camp was also found some hundred meters from the terrorists’ defensive lines.
Joint Task Force ZamPeLan Commander Major General Roseller Murillo said that the armed encounter is the result of the relentless campaign against the remaining members of the terrorist group.
“I commend the troops of the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan for this recent accomplishment,” said Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“Rest assured that our intensified campaign against terrorism will not falter and we thank our partner stakeholders for their undying support to all our endeavors,” he added.