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2 killed, 5 hurt in clash

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Two soldiers were killed while five others were wounded Thursday morning during an encounter with Maute group, a local terrorist group, in Barangay Sandab, Butig, Lanao del Sur, the Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WesMinCom) reported yesterday.

WesMinCom spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan, Jr. said undetermined number of rebels were believed killed and wounded during the firefight.

Tan said a rebel training camp, which can accommodate approximately 100 members, was also recovered by the 51st Infantry Battalion in Barangay Poctan, Butig, Lanao del Sur, during a clearing operation.

According to Tan, prior to the encounter between soldiers and members of the terrorist group, Improvised Explosive Device exploded in the area, wounding government troopers.

Tan said that the wounded soldiers were immediately evacuated by troops of the 103rd Brigade to a hospital in Iligan City and in Kuta Cesar Sang-an Station in Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

Reports said more than a thousand ethnic Maranaw villagers have been displaced by the continuing skirmishes since last week in Butig, Lanao del Sur, between soldiers and militant Moro extremists. (Nonoy Lacson)