MAGUINDANAO, Philippines—On January 25, a Battalion of Philippine National Policer Special Action Force came to Mamasapano town in Maguindanao for a law enforcement operation against a most wanted man, Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir, also known as Marwan.
Zulkifli has a $5-million bounty on his head from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation over his involvement in the 2002 bombing in Bali, Indonesia, that left 110 foreign nationals dead. He was reportedly in Mamasapano.
But while members of PNP SAF were pulling out from the scene after a firefight with guerillas of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, they encountered the group of MILF’s 105thBase Command. The intense fighting lasted for 13 hours. Outnumbered, the police ran out of bullets. As a result, 44 of them were killed; 11 others were wounded.
The Philippine government claimed the police killed Marwan in the operation, but has not produced his body or a photograph of it. (READ: Dead or alive? Top terrorist was cops’ target)
Below are photos from Mamasapano on Wednesday, January 28 – 3 days after the deadly “misencounter” and before President Benigno Aquino III addressed the nation to defend the SAF operation – when a Marine battalion was redeployed to the town.