Friday Apr, 10 2020 04:19:33 AM

Army now in control of upland Dawlah Islamiya enclaves

Peace and Order • 14:45 PM Thu Mar 5, 2020
John M. Unson
Two of the four Dawlah Islamiya fatalities. (Contributed photos)

COTABATO CITY --- A dozen more improvised explosive devices and firearms were found by soldiers in hinterland enclaves of the Dawlah Islamiya that soldiers took over following three days of internecine clashes.

Two soldiers, Cpl. Albert Serquina and Sgt. Irvin Alberastine of the 40th and 57th Battalions, respectively, and four Dawlah Islamiya bandits, one of them a cleric, perished in the spate of clashes in Tuayan area at the border of Ampatuan and Datu Hoffer towns in Maguindanao.

Major Gen. Diosdado Carreon of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division said Thursday the operation that resulted in the fall of Dawlah Islamiya bastions there was launched after villagers reported the presence of terrorists fabricating IEDs, as if preparing for bomb attacks.

He said the spate of gunfights erupted when terrorists attacked soldiers dispatched to check on the reported setting up of bunkers and other fortifications in Tuayan area and nearby barangays by followers of wanted terrorist Salahudin Hassan.

The Dawlah Islamiya, also known as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is feared for bombing non-military targets to avenge losses in clashes with pursuing military units.

The group lost 36 members in encounters with units of the anti-terror Task Force Central under 6th ID from between October 2019 to January this year.

A number of firearms and bobby traps attached to smaller IEDs were also found along the escape route of the Dawlah Islamiya gunmen driven out following three days of ground and artillery attacks that began on Monday morning.

“We are thankful to the patriotic residents of Maguindanao who provided our units information pertaining to their terror plots,” Carreon said Thursday.

Carreon said the IEDs and firearms that soldiers recovered in the scenes of the encounter are now in the custody of the Army’s 57th IB. 


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