Gov’t drive vs terrorism in Central Mindanao fortifies

By Julmunir I. Jannaral

CAMP NAVARRO, Calarian, Zamboanga City

Pursuit operations launched by government forces to thwart the terror plots of threat groups continue in central Mindanao as the military has discovered an abandoned lair of the Daulah Islamiyah-Hassan Group in Maguindanao.

“While conducting clearing operations, personnel of the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion (1SRB) discovered the abandoned lair of the Daulah Islamiyah in Barangay Saniag, Ampatuan, Maguindanao in the morning of March 26, 2021,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

“It was 100 meters away from the previous encounter site and was probably abandoned during the bomb run conducted by the troops of the Joint Task Force Central on March 25,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. added.

According to 1SRB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Raymond Rapi, the said hideout has eight makeshift huts and a half-sized basketball court.

While scouring the area, operating troops seized three improvised explosive device (IED) charge (1-1/8kg and 2-1/4 kg), eight blasting caps, seven 9V battery, one 12V battery, twelve IED switch (pressurized type), multiple electric wire, three solar panels (1-100wts, 1-150wts, and 1-25wts), one power supply inverter, three Baofeng commercial radio (unserviceable), one analog cellular phone, two smart cellular phones, one optic red dot (unserviceable), one binocular (damaged), forty kilos of rice, one dextrose, three upper uniforms (black and white), one lower uniform (black and white), one upper MILF uniform, one motorcycle (severely damaged), three hammock, assorted enemy belongings, and assorted foodstuff.

‘Our troops continue to scour the area and pursue the enemies,” said Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade.

Meanwhile, combined elements of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion and 32nd Explosive Ordnance Division conducted a focused military operation in Barangay Salman of the same municipality which resulted in the recovery of one pull tension tripwire type IED with the following components: one blasting cap, one 9 volts battery, one empty bottle used as the container of the main charge, and pull tension tripwire type switch.

“The IED was placed under the custody of the explosive ordnance division (EOD) team for proper disposition,” said Lt. Col. Cresencio Sanchez, Jr., Commanding Officer of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion.

The Joint Task Force Central continued to bolster its offensives by deploying supplemental troops to conduct focused military operations in the different municipalities of Maguindanao.

According to 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Pedro Balisi, the troops of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion conducted a focused military operation in Sitio Bagorot Tuayan, Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao.

This resulted in the recovery of two IEDs in the area.

“We immediately coordinated with the 33rd and 32nd EOD teams for the proper handling of the IEDs,” said Col. Omar Orozco, commanding officer of the 2Mech Bn.

Each IED was composed of one cartridge, 81mm high explosive; one Improvised Blasting Cap; one 9 volts battery; one Battery Clip; one Emylo as Frequency Receiver Expenditure; two-time fuses; and one Bowl Disruptor.

The EOD teams immediately disrupted the recovered IEDs for everyone’s safety.

Also, combined elements of the 1st Mechanized and 33rd Infantry Battalions conducted a separate operation in Barangay Salman, Ampatuan at around 10 a.m., the same day which resulted in the recovery of another IED.

Operating troops immediately cordoned the area and secured the IED.

While troops continue to scour the area, they recovered one grenade launcher on the morning of March 28.

Clearing and pursuit operations are continuously being conducted.

Since the start of the intensified operations on March 25, the troops of the Joint Task Force Central were able to overrun two enemy strongholds and recover nine IEDs and several IED components.

“We are exhausting all available assets to neutralize the terrorists who are responsible for the conduct of atrocities in central Mindanao,” said Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Joint Task Force Central.

With all these accomplishments, Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. extended his appreciation to the peace-loving people of Maguindanao who continue to provide vital information to the armed forces.

“The involvement of the civilians is very important in our security efforts. Rest assured, your soldiers will remain steadfast in keeping every community safe and in thwarting the hostile plans

 of the terrorists,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. added. JIJ

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