Army, PNP foil terror attack in Maguindanao
COTABATO CITY—Police and military on Tuesday recovered assault rifles and explosives in a raid on the house of a suspected terrorist in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao province.
Capt. Arvin Encinas, civil-military operations chief of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, on Wednesday said that the joint antiterror operation of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and soldiers in a safe house in Dimapatoy village resulted in the seizure of firearms and the arrest of a certain Kamarudin Butocan Raguiab.
Encinas said the operatives were responding to an intelligence report on the presence of armed men, who were not in the vicinity during the early morning raid.
Recovered from Raguiab’s house were nine rifles, two shotguns, a .45 cal. pistol, four improvised explosive devices and a rifle grenade. Also recovered was an Islamic State (IS) banner.
On Sunday, the military foiled an attempt by affiliates of IS-inspired terrorists to make Mamasapano town in Maguindanao another base where they would launch offensives similar to the takeover of sections of Marawi City.
Encinas said about 80 armed men belonging to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters tried to overrun a detachment of the 40th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Mamasapano, but soldiers thwarted the attempt. Cpl. Samsudin Mohammad died in the firefight.
Accounts by military and local officials said that at 4 a.m. on Sunday, Mohammad noticed heavily armed men trying to get closer to the detachment in Barangay Tukanalipao, site of the 2015 clash that left 44 members of the police’s Special Action Force and 17 others, including Moro rebels, dead.
Mohammad, a Maguindanaon Muslim, was awake as early as 2 a.m. to prepare his food as he was fasting.
Although outnumbered, Encinas said Mohammad and elements of the 40th IB manning the detachment stopped the attackers and killed at least four of them. —REPORTS FROM CHARLIE S. SEÑASE AND EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ
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