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Maute sub-leader, soldier slain in Lanao del Norte encounter

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A sub-leader with the Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group was killed in an encounter with government troops in Lanao del Norte, the military confirmed on Monday.

The slain senior militant official was identified as Hadji Rasul Mambuay a.k.a "Mercury," whose operational base is located at Sitio Pamacalun, Barangay Guiarong, Pagayawan, Lanao del Sur.

He was listed number 541 in the Martial Law Instruction Number 1 dated September 4, 2017 and has a standing warrant of arrest for Arson.

Lt. Col. Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) spokesperson, said the terrorist sub-leader was neutralized in a clash in Upper Dimayon, Tagoloan, Lanao del Norte at 7:40am on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018.

Soldiers of the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan, with elements of PNP Tagoloan and NBI also encountered more or less 100 DI/Maute remnants under Dianalan Dimnatang Imam a.k.a Papayungan in Sitio Epangi, Barangay Malimbato, Tagoloan, Lanao del Norte, at around 7 a.m. of the same day.

Besana said soldiers from the Army’s 4th Mechanized Battalion were conducting clearing operation when fired upon in Upper Dimayon, Tagoloan, triggering a firefight which resulted to the neutralization of "Mercury".

The military said "Mercury" led the group with more or less 100 members of local terrorist group which planned to reinforce the beleaguered Daesh-Maute group that was encountered by the government troops in Marawi City.

"Accordingly, the said group was composed of followers from Masiu, Butig, Tubaran, Pagayawan, and Marogong municipalities bringing along with them high-powered firearms including undetermined sniper rifles (caliber .50 barret)," said Besana.

In October 1, 2017, a certain a.k.a Alim Abodar of the Maute group, with an estimated 38 armed followers, was monitored hiding in a camp under the leadership of a.k.a Mercury in the Island Barangay of Nusa,  Balindong (Wato), Lanao Del Sur). A.k.a Mercury has been previously known as protector of lawless elements in Lanao del Sur,  according to Besana.

Sunday's encounter also led to the death of one soldier and recovery of one Elisco M16A1, one short magazine; fourteen rounds of 5.56mm ball; one MK2 hand grenade; three handheld radios; four cellular phone; two rolls detonating cord; one round cal.45 ball; one  battery pack; one front sight assy for M4; seven (7) cellular phone charger; and one headset.

Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, Armed Forces WestMinCom chief, said: “Our salute to our fallen soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice to neutralize the terrorist. He fought his last battle victoriously. His unwavering commitment to service and sacrifice will never be forgotten."

According to Dela Vega, the Western Mindanao Command through its Joint Task Forces will continue to conduct military operations and maximize intelligence monitoring with the assistance of the police, the local government, and the civilians in the joint area of operation.

"This is to disallow lawless elements to thrive in the communities and to stop them from continually doing their terroristic activities," the WestMinCom chief said.

The Maute and its ally Abu Sayyaf group with their foreign fighters laid siege to Marawi on May 23 and held the center for 5 months.

The Marawi conflict has resulted in the death of more than a thousand members of the ISIS-inspired terror group, nearly 200 soldiers and policemen and dozens civilians. It has also displaced hundreds of thousands of residents. Hader Glang




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