MARAWI CITY, Philippines – The military on Friday, September 29, presented 6 sacks of coins and assorted metal that it recovered from Bato Mosque, a former Maute Group stronghold that troops recently cleared.
Colonel Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Task Group Ranao, said the coins and nails may be used to manufacure IEDs as troops have seen them using the battle area.
IEDs are among the main killers of government forces in Marawi. Brawner showed a photo of an improvised hand grenade that used coins as shrapnel.
"One of the significant recoveries made yesterday [September 28] is the recovery of 6 sacks of coins and assorted metal objects that may be used for IEDs," said Brawner.
"There have been instances already in the past where our troops have been hit by coins. Noong sumabog po ang IED and improvised grenades nila ay mga pieces of coins ang tumama sa kanila (When their IED and improvised grenades exploded, coins hit the troops)," said Brawner.
The sacks of coins and assorted metal objects were found among IEDs unexploded ordnance, and firearms.
They were turned over to the police as potential evidence against members of the Maute Group, said Brawner.
Zia Alonto Adiong, spokesman of the Provincial Crisis Management Committee, hit the Maute Group for using the mosque to manufacture IEDs.
"They know for a fact, as Muslims, you should not use mosques as your place of manufacturing ordnance or firearms. A mosque is a place of worship. It should be neutral to any armed conflict," Adiong said.
"Using the mosque as an armory where they can set up their improvised grenades and explosives does not only violate religious issue, it also bastardizes the identify of Maranao people. Mosques are seen not only as religious icons but also the identify of Moro people," said Adiong.
Adiong also hit the Maute Group for taking civilian hostages. – Rappler.com