MARAWI CITY, Philippines – The Philippine military conducted air strikes against unidentified armed men reportedly camping on an island in Bacolod-Kalawi in Lanao del Sur, a lakeside town not too far away from Marawi City.
Reporters on the ground witnessed military air strikes on Thursday morning, September 28.
Colonel Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Task Group Ranao in Marawi City, confirmed military operations on Balt Island in Bacolod-Kalawi.
Brawner said the military responded when the unidentified armed men fired upon a Philippine Navy vessel that was approaching the island on Lanao Lake to verify the reported presence of armed men there.
Brawner said the military is not dismissing the possibility that the armed men, who reportedly had boats with them, are planning to reinforce the Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City.
This comes a week after unidentified armed men harassed a military detachment in Bayang, another lakeside town in Lanao del Sur.
The military said soldiers have pushed back the terrorists in Marawi City towards the lake.
Naval assets are guarding the waters to make sure the terrorists cannot escape and reinforcements are not able to enter the battle area in Marawi City.