Soldier, 4 militants killed in Lanao del Sur clash
PARANG, Maguindanao — Four Dawlah Islamiyah (DI) members and a soldier were killed during brief skirmishes between government forces and the Islamic State-linked group in Marogong, Lanao del Sur, on Thursday morning, police said.
Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza, police director of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said government forces clashed for about five minutes with militants led by Abu Zacariah in Barangay Piangologan at 8 a.m. The group of local terrorists then splintered and fled in different directions.
The encounter left one soldier dead and three others wounded. When soldiers scoured the area, they discovered the body of a DI gunman still holding an M16 assault rifle.
An hour later, another group of Army Scout Rangers serving as a blocking force encountered the fleeing militants, triggering a firefight that lasted for another five minutes. After the clash, soldiers found another gunman dead, still clutching his M635 rifle.
Nobleza said two more bodies of DI gunmen were discovered in the area during clearing operations later in the day.
Authorities withheld the identities of the slain and injured soldiers.
Nobleza said the bodies of the four slain DI members had been turned over to the Marogong police so their relatives could identify and claim them.
—EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ