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AFP, Maute clash in Lanao

The Armed Forces of the Philippines said that an intense firefight between government troops and the Maute Group erupted in Lanao del Sur yesterday.

Brig. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, commander of the Army 1st Infantry Division, said the gunbattle started at around 5:45 a.m. at Piagapo Complex.

Troops are still in the area engaging the Maute Group as press time.

Bautista said the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao conducted focused military operations in Piagapo starting midnight of April 21 as part of continuous focused military operations in Lanao in accordance with President Duterte’s directive to destroy local terrorist groups.

He said the operations resulted into a series of encounters between the 103rd Infantry Brigade under the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan and undetermined number of Maute Group members starting 1 a.m. Saturday.

He said coordination with the community and local government units paved the way in pinpointing the location of the Maute Group in Lanao del Sur. (Francis T. Wakefield)