Legazpi City (Nov. 28, 2016) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) belied reports that several soldiers have been killed over the weekend during the military operations against the Maute group in the province of Lanao.
Brigadier General Restituto Padilla, the AFP’s spokesperson clarified that four soldiers were slightly wounded during the campaign and 11 were slain on the side of the terrorist group.
Padillla said that the four injured personnel are now recovering in a medical facility in the area.
The spokesperson also gave the assurance that the military unit involved in the actual operations has adequate artillery and air assets and is expecting that the fight would be over soon.
He pointed out that the Maute Group is just a small band of local terrorists operating in the Lanao, Maguindanao and Cotabato areas.
This group was established in the year 2000 and is presently led, according to Padilla, by brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute.
According to the general, the said siblings were educated in Egypt and were influenced by Islamic radicalism.
The group was known to have had connections with the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) but were now aligning themselves with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The military however dismissed this information saying that a small band like the Maute Group would claim alliance with any other notorious terrorist group for namesake.
Padilla also revealed that the group is believed to be responsible for the bombing in Davao City last August. (J. Garalde)