Maguindanao del Sur

Dawlah Islamiya counterattack in Maguindanao del Sur kills 4 soldiers

Ferdinandh Cabrera

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Dawlah Islamiya counterattack in Maguindanao del Sur kills 4 soldiers

Guia Abogado/Rappler

(2nd UPDATE) The troops were attacked after buying food for Iftar, the meal eaten by Muslims to break their fast during Ramadan

MAGUINDANAO DEL SUR, Philippines – Four army personnel from the 40th Infantry Battalion were killed in an ambush launched on Sunday morning, March 17, by members of the Dawlah Islamiyah terror group.

The fatalities are one corporal and three private ranks. Their names have not been disclosed until their families are informed.

Brigadier General Oriel Pangcog, commander of 601st Army Brigade, confirmed four of his men were killed, noting that “they were supposed to go back to their base when ambush was launched.”

The incident, which happened during Ramadan, took place along the national highway of Tuayan 1, Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur around 9 in the morning.

“The enemies launched also their counterattacks after our successful operations in the past days”, he said.

Major General Alex Rillera, Sixth Infantry Division chief, said the troops were just buying food in preparation for Iftar, the meal eaten by Muslims to break their fast during Ramadan.

Troops have monitored heavily-armed members of the Dawlah Islamiyah gathered in the nearby Datu Saudi Ampatuan town in Maguindanao Del Sur, which led to a ground military offensive against the terror group.

Rappler received intelligence reports on Saturday, March 16, that Dawlah Islamiyah will launch attacks at military detachments.

An hot pursuit operation was conducted by joint government forces on the ground after the ambush.

In a statement, Lieutenant General Roy Galido, Commanding General of the Philippine Army, denounced the “ruthless ambush.”

“We also stand in solidarity with the families of our four fallen heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Appropriate benefits and assistance will be provided to their families to help them during this trying time,” the statement read.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also condemned the “cowardly” counterattack, and promised immediate assistance to the families of the fallen soldiers. 

“This despicable act only strengthens our resolve to eradicate terrorism from the region and our entire nation,” Marcos said on Monday, March 18. – with a report from Dwight de Leon/

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