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16,000 residents flee as battle intensifies in Lanao del Sur

Heavy fighting between the military and the Maute terrorist group has resumed in Butig, Lanao del Sur.

Government troops are conducting an armed offensive against the local terrorists to regain control of Butig town.

The battles began last Saturday and continue on Monday morning.

Four soldiers have been wounded on Monday, bringing the total number of injured troop members to nine so far.

The Armed Forces’ OV-10 Bronco planes are taking part in the operations.

AFP Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) Spokesperson Major Filemon Tan says, the military is set to retake an old municipal building and 9 other structures being controlled by the Maute group.

Tan describes the clashes: “It is a close fight. Structure per structure, hindi lalampas sa sampung structures (less than 10 structures).”

He notes, instead of fleeing, the Maute group is fortifying its position in the area.

He adds, most of the members of the terror group are natives of Butig so they have the support of local residents.

Butig Mayor Jimmy Pansar says,  about 16,000 residents have fled their homes as a result of the clashes.

Topics: Maute , AFP , Butig , Lanao del Sur , military , operations , offensive , battle
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