By Francis Wakefield and MB Online
Eleven members of the Maute group died while five others were wounded as the military beefed up its offensive to purge the Maute group from the town of Butig, Lanao del Sur.
Four soldiers were also wounded in the fighting with approximately 100 heavily armed Maute members, the military announced Sunday, November 27.
The casualty count “was based on signal intelligence and other sources from the ground,” said Marine Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP public affairs chief.
Army Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, said they are waiting for updates from their ground troops in the ongoing operation against the terrorists that have occupied some vital installations in Butig since Thursday.
“The group has reportedly raised the ISIS (Islamic State) flag, which was expected since they have long been professing allegiance to the foreign terror group,” Arevalo added. “This is still part of the Maute group’s agenda in courting support and encouraging similar-minded individuals to support ISIS.”
On Saturday, soldiers engaged some 15 Maute members at Barangay Bayabao in Butig.
Arevalo assured that the military will continue to thwart the Maute group despite acknowledging that the group, albeit already decimated, remains capable of launching terror attacks.
The Maute group is an armed Islamist group founded by Abdullah Maute. Based in Lanao del Sur, some of its leaders were allegedly former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.