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1 soldier killed, 1 wounded in encounter with Maute Group

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By  Francis Wakefield

An Army Scout Ranger was killed while another was wounded after an encounter with suspected members of the Maute Group in Butig, Lanao del Sur early Wednesday morning.

MB FILE - Soldiers walk across a field near a mosque after disembarking from a military helicopter in Butig, Lanao del Sur, southern Philippines November 30, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer / MANILA BULLETIN

MB FILE – Soldiers walk across a field near a mosque after disembarking from a military helicopter in Butig, Lanao del Sur, southern Philippines November 30, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer / MANILA BULLETIN

Army Major Filemon Tan Jr., the spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), said based on initial reports, the encounter took place at about 7:01 a.m.

It was learned that troops from the 1st Scout Ranger Company, 1st Scout Ranger Battalion were conducting intensified law enforcement operations when it encountered about 60 members of the Maute Group in Barangay Sandab, Butig, Lanao del Sur.

An armed confrontation ensued, resulting in the death of a soldier and wounding of another.

Tan said the military continues to intensify the conduct of focused military operations to neutralize members of the lawless terrorist group.

The AFP earlier said military operations are currently zeroed in on the outskirts of Butig where members of the Maute Group believed to have retreated.

The enemy as of Tuesday incurred 63 killed and 17 wounded, while the troops suffered two killed and 39 wounded in action.

“The military continues to conduct operations to neutralize local terrorists operating in the province of Lanao del Sur,” Tan said in a statement.

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