THREE members of the Islamic State-affiliated Daulah Islamiyah-Maute group and one soldier were killed Tuesday as government forces launched a land and air offensive against the local terrorists’ camp in Maguing, Lanao del Sur, the military reported on March 2.  

Four other soldiers were wounded during the initial encounter that lasted for about three hours on Tuesday morning, according to the military’s Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom). 

WestMinCom said troops have also recovered a significant weapons cache of the Daulah Islamiyah-Maute group, which was conducting training operations and planning for sabotage activities at the attack site.  

The troops halted operations in the evening to allow more people in surrounding communities to move to evacuation centers following a meeting with local and religious leaders of the Bangsamoro region.   

“To all the peace-loving citizens of Lanao del Sur, just remain calm and allow us to do our job. Your armed forces will not allow these terrorists to inflict harm on your respective communities,”  WestMinCom chief Alfredo Rosario, Jr. said in a statement.  

“We will not stop until these lawless elements are completely crushed,” he said.  

The Daulah Islamiyah-Maute group were responsible for a series of bombings between Sept. 2021 to February this year on facilities of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP). Seven soldiers and two NGCP civilian personnel were wounded in these attacks, according to the military.  

Maguing Mayor Fahad D. Molok, in a statement late Tuesday, assured residents that local officials and government forces are continuously discussing a “permanent solution and ceasefire to bring back peace and order to the municipality.” 

Some members of the Daulah Islamiya were formerly under the leaders of the Maute group who took siege of Marawi City in 2017 and have since been killed by government forces. — MSJ