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DAVAO, Philippines – Government troops killed at least nine members of the ISIS-inspired Dawlah Islamiyah in a fresh round of air and ground offensives along the boundaries of Maguindanao del Sur and Cotabato province.
Captain Alex Duma, spokesperson of the Army’s 602nd Brigade, confirmed the death toll resulting from this week’s military operations.
He said the air and ground offensives were executed by troops from the Army’s 602nd Brigade and the Task Force Central under the 6th Division, two days after the deadly Marawi bombing that claimed the lives of four Catholic mass-goers and injured nearly four dozen others inside a gym at the state-run Mindanao State University (MSU).
The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the December 3 bomb attack in Marawi City. The military and police have blamed the bombing on the Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group.
Tension gripped communities as explosions were reported in Pikit and Kabacan in Cotabato province and Datu Montawal and Pagalungan in Maguindanao del Sur.
Duma said the operations were directed against the Hassan sub-group of Dawlah Islamiyah.
Brigadier General Donald Gumiran, the commander of the 602nd Brigade, said the operation began on December 5, Tuesday, in Pagalungan, Maguindanao del Sur, and nearby areas in Ligawasan Marsh where the militants were sighted.
“We monitored this notorious group that poses threats and plans to assemble and plant bombs in civilian populations,” Gumaran said. – Rappler.com