The series of operations in Lanao del Sur against the Maute Group, of which 37 have been killed so far, is part of the military’s efforts to “degrade” the terror-sowing capabilities of the bandits.
This was revealed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Eduardo Año in an interview on Wednesday, April 25.
He added that the military operations in Lanao del Sur, which started last April 21 and ended on the 24th, is one deliberate military offensive purely designed to degrade the capability of the Maute Group.
In that offensive, 37 Maute Group members were killed, with 14 of the bandits identified. Among those slain were three Indonesian and one Malaysian national.
The AFP chief added that this operation is in-line with the ongoing efforts to neutralize the remaining Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits, which made an ill-advised attempt to land in Inabanga, Bohol last April 10, supposedly to abduct local and foreign terrorists.
Kidnap for ransom is a usual modus of the ASG.
As of this posting, eight out of the 11 ASG fighters under Muamar Askali alias “Abu Rami” where killed along with the bandit commander and their Inabanga contact Joselito Milloria.