Monday Nov, 28 2022 11:53:50 AM

3 Dawlah gunmen neutralized in central Mindanao in just 8 days

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 10:45 AM Thu Feb 3, 2022
John M. Unson
The Marines while at Barangay Lumbac, Balabagan, Lanao del Sur. (From 6th ID)

BALABAGAN, Lanao del Sur --- A team of Marines killed a  Dawlah Islamiya member in a clash here Wednesday, the third from the group that authorities had neutralized in just eight days. 

Brig. Gen. Jonas Lumawag, commander of the 1st Marine Brigade of the Philippine Navy, said Wednesday the slain Dawlah Islamiya gunman is a follower of Polo Alim, who is wanted for a number of criminal cases pending in courts.

The encounter in Barangay Lumbac here Wednesday erupted when Alim and his followers opened fire at the Marines out to check on reports purporting their presence in the area.

Alim was involved in the May 23 to October 16, 2017 seige of Marawi City by the Maute terror group.

The five-month hostilities instigated by Maute terrorists caused the death of a thousand people, more than a  hundred of them soldiers and policemen, displaced no fewer than 300,000 villagers and left a dozen historic centuries-old Maranao enclaves in ruins. 

In a report to Army Major Gen. Juvymay Uy of the 6th Infantry Division, Lumawag said an M203 rifle, 40 millimeter grenade projectiles, assorted ammunition and shabu were recovered in the scene of the encounter in Barangay Lumbac, left by the terrorists as they fled in haste.

The 6th ID has jurisdiction over Balabagan and other seaside towns in the second district of Lanao del Sur, where there is presence of religious extremists using the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as their banner. 

The incident here was preceded by the January 31 gunfight between Dawlah Islamiya members and personnel of the Army’s 1st Scout Ranger Battalion in Tupi, South Cotabato that resulted in the deaths of terrorists Zaypol Nilong and Salahuddin Usman.

They belong to a Dawlah Islamiya group implicated in a series of bombings in central Mindanao in recent years. 

Uy, commander of 6th ID, said the Scout Rangers were dispatched to Barangay Lapu in Polomolok after villagers reported sightings of armed men in the area.

The Scout Rangers were attacked while approaching the spot where the Dawlah Islamiya gunmen were sighted, sparking a brief exchange of gunfire.

The Scout Rangers recovered an M16 assault rifle each beside the cadavers of Nilong and Usman, according to Uy. 

Tupi and all other towns in South Cotabato and the provincial capital, Koronadal City, are also in the territory of 6th ID. 



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