Tuesday Mar, 28 2023 12:02:54 AM

5 gunmen slain in separate gun attacks in Maguindanao Norte, North Cotabato

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 07:30 AM Sun Mar 12, 2023
Edwin O. Fernandez

DATU ODIN, Maguindanao Norte – Five gunmen were killed in separate government law enforcement operations in Maguindanao del Sur and North Cotabato province Saturday.

In Pikit, three gunmen were killed when they resisted arrest and traded shots with police and military personnel serving warrants of arrest, according to Major Gen. Alex Rillera, 6th Infantry Division commander.

The joint Pikit PNP and 90th Infantry Battaion operation was conducted in a house in Barangay Macabual, Pikit at about 2 a.m. on Saturday with government forces serving warrants of arrest against wanted persons Jonathan Kadalem and Abdulla Kurdotoy

In his report, Maj. Gen. Rillera, commander of Joint Task Force Central, said Kurdotoy and his followers opened fire on approaching lawmen triggering a firefight.

It left two of his men, Norman Samsudin and Maano Sanday, dead but Kurdotoy and Kadalem managed to escape, leaving their dead companions behind.

The fatalities were identified as Norman Samsudin and Maano Sanday.  Government forces recovered beside them two M-16 Armalite rifles and two bandoliers.

Police Cpl. Eric Buslayan of the 45th Special Action Company was slightly injured.

Blocking force Soldiers from the 34th Infantry Battalion were fired upon by a group of gunmen in Sitio Galigayanan, also in Barangay Macabual, Pikit.

Another firefight ensued that resulted in the death of Animao Baganian, also Kordotoy’s follower, and the recovery of two more Armalite rifles and a homemade shotgun.

Overall, the law enforcement operations resulted in the neutralization of three lawless elements and the recovery of four M16 rifles and one homemade shotgun.

The cadavers of the neutralized cohorts of the target personalities, and all the recovered firearms were turned over to Pikit Municipal Police Station for proper disposition.

The Pikit PNP said another gunman was also killed during the operation, raising the fatalities to four.

In Barangay Elian, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, police foiled a bombing plot and killed two gunmen when they refused to undergo police checkpoint inspection at 11 a.m.

In a report, the Datu Saudi municipal police station said police and members of 2nd Mechanized Infantry Batallion said the suspects on board a motorbike were flagged down at a checkpoint for regular inspection.

One of them opened fire on lawmen, triggering a firefight. Police recovered a .45 caliber pistol and an improvised hand grenade from the slain suspects.

The fatalities remained unidentified.

Lt. Gen. Roy Galido, Western Mindanao Command chief, commended the military troops under the 90th and 34th Infantry Battalions for their successful operation along with other state law enforcement units.

"Rest assured that we will sustain our good relationship with our partners to ensure the successful conduct of operations against the malefactors," Lt. Gen. Galido said. (Edwin O. Fernandez)


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