Police kill 3 suspected gun runners, catch 7 others in Lanao del Sur clash

Merlyn Manos

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Police kill 3 suspected gun runners, catch 7 others in Lanao del Sur clash

KILLED. Medical workers walk past dead gunrunning suspects while a policeman looks at the bodies of the men they killed in Lanao del Sur at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City on Sunday, April 2.

The police say the armed group is suspected to also be involved in the illegal drug trade, and with the terrorist group Dawlah Islamiyah in Lanao del Sur

ILIGAN, Philippines – Police killed three suspected gun runners with alleged links to the terrorist group Dawlah Islamiyah and the local drug trade and arrested seven others during an encounter in Bubong town in Lanao del Sur on Sunday, April 2. 

A member of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF) was wounded in the exchange of firepower in the village of Barangay Matampay Dumarpa.

Brigadier General Allan Nobleza, the police director for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), said the encounter took place when members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), SAF and the Lanao del Sur and town police were about to raid a house in Bubong.

Nobleza said the raid was based on an arrest warrant issued by a regional court in Lanao del Norte against Sultan Macalawan Macarambon Mualawa alias Maulana Macarambon, Saidomar Pangcat Acob, Saidomar Ibrahim Bandas, and Saudi Albair Cali for a case about the violation of the gun law.

He said the policemen were greeted by heavy gunfire by the group of about 10 people, leading to a 25-minute firefight.

Killed during the fierce encounter were Bashir Marcarangcat, Sowaib Marcarangcat, and Abdulatip Ripag.

Authorities arrested the 61-year-old Maulana/Macarambon, Nasrudin Acob, Salik Maulana, Anwar Aragon, Saynolla Tigunogon, Acmali Sarip, and a 14-year-old male.

A policeman, Corporal Celso Ninla Tiingcang, was wounded and rushed to the state-run Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City.

Police seized from the suspects were several guns, ammunition, a grenade, more than two dozen sachets of suspected shabu (meth), smartphones and old mobile phones, and some cash.

Nobleza said the group was suspected to be involved in gun-running operations and the illegal drug trade and was believed to be supporters of a terrorist group in Lanao del Sur.

He said text messages found in their mobile phones allegedly showed their links to the Dawlah Islamiyah and organized crime operations. 

Lieutenant Colonel Jamal Christopher Adiong, chief of the intelligence unit of the Lanao del Sur police, said a small group of Dawlah Islamiyah members under Abu Zacharia was believed to be operating in the mountainous area of Marogong and surrounding towns in the province. – Rappler.com

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