MADALUM, Lanao del Sur (PIA) — The Army’s 55th Infantry Battalion (IB) clashed with members of the ISIS-linked Dawla Islamiya Local Terrorist Group (LTG) Monday, July 6, in Barangay Tamparong here.
The troops were conducting combat operations in response to the reports from concerned citizens regarding the presence of armed members of the said LTG conducting recruitment and forcing them to procure rations for the group.
“The battalion has been unrelenting in the conduct of combat operations following the series of encounters that transpired during previous weeks in the hinterland boundary of Madalum and Bacolod-Kalawi both of Lanao del Sur,” said Lt. Col. Franco Raphael Alano, commanding officer of the 55IB.
With fierce firefight, the troops were able to overrun the terrorist encampment.
One soldier, however, died due to IED explosion left by withdrawing LTG members. No other troops were injured during the explosion.
Meanwhile, Col. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade, who has operational jurisdiction over Lanao del Sur, expressed his grief that one of the soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice in protecting the province from the LTGs.
“Rest assured, we will continue the fight, we will not stop until we could declare the whole province of Lanao del Sur terrorist free,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Generoso M. Ponio, 1st Infantry Division Commander, vowed to sustain the military operations against the Dawla Islamiya in its area of responsibility.
“We remain relentless against these terrorist groups. However, we will still encourage them to return to the folds of the law,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Ponio added that they will be facilitating the necessary support and assistance for the bereaved families. (Tabak Division/PIA ICIC)