5 members of lawless armed group killed in Maguindanao, AFP reports
MANILA, Philippines — Five members of a lawless armed group have been neutralized after a brief firefight with government troops in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said on Monday.
According to WestMinCom Commander Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr., troops from the 40th Infantry Battalion (IB) received a report about a robbery-hold up incident at a convenience store in Barangay Kauran of Ampatuan town — leading composite elements from the 40th IB and the Civilian Active Auxiliary (CAA) to respond to the area.
After the composite team set up checkpoints near the Kauran Patrol Base, armed men inside a minivan engaged with nine of the CAA personnel, resulting in a firefight that lasted around five minutes.
The number of armed individuals inside the minivan was not determined, but authorities managed to recover the bodies of five of the suspects, along with two .45 caliber pistols and two empty .45 caliber magazines.
Rosario and Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Commander of Joint Task Force Central, assured the public that they would continue to operate and stop lawless armed groups in the area.
“We will continue to operate to quell armed lawless groups in our area of operation,” Uy said.
“Our campaign against armed groups will be relentless in order to minimize the atrocities and attain a just and lasting peace here in Mindanao,” Rosario added.
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