Soldier, 5 Daulah Islamiyah members dead in Lanao Sur clash
DAVAO CITY—Five terrorists belonging to the Islamic State-affiliated Daulah Islamiyah group and a soldier were killed in a four-hour gun battle on Wednesday morning in Butig town, Lanao del Sur, the military said.
A report from the Army’s 5th Infantry Battalion (5IB) released Thursday evening said Cpl. Rutenvic Jaralve, 34, was killed in the gunfight involving some 40 local terrorists in Barangay Ragayan.
Ragayan in Butig town is where the Maute Group maintained a lair before joining Abu Sayyaf bandits from Basilan province to lay siege on Marawi City five years ago.
Jaralve’s body was set to travel home on Friday in Bacungan, Zamboanga del Norte.
Another soldier was wounded in the battle and recuperating in a military hospital.
Lt. Col. Romulus Rabara, 5IB commander, said villagers reported the presence of the armed men in a mountainous part of Ragayan, prompting them to deploy forces there.
Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, commander of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade, said the group attempted to establish a lair near a Moro Islamic Liberation Front camp, which explains their stockpiling of construction materials and food supplies as per a report from villagers.
After the clash, government troops discovered four high-powered firearms, a rocket-propelled grenade, several rounds of ammunition, an improvised landmine, and other war materiel.
Throughout the clash, artillery fire from the 1st Field Artillery Battalion and close air support from two AW109 attack helicopters of the Tactical Operations Group of the Philippine Air Force aided the ground troops.