Arms cache found in Marawi
GOVERNMENT troops clearing the entire scene of intense fighting with the beaten Islamic State-inspired terrorist group claim they have uncovered a cache of 30 high-powered firearms under a shallow spot of Lake Lanao Sunday.
Army Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Task Force Ranao, said the recovered weapons believed used by the Maute ISIS terrorists in the five-month long fighting with security forces had been recovered in Lake Lanao near the Bandaringin Mosque in Barangay Marinaut, Marawi City.
The weapons consisted of a crew-serve .50 caliber machinegun, .50 caliber bolt-action sniper rifles, three M60 machineguns, an M79 grenade launcher, two M16 rifles, a dozen of M14 assault rifles, two AK 47 ridles and two caliber .30 Carbines.
Brawner said joint forces of the Army personnel from 55th Infantry Battalion, Scout Ranger Class 202, military engineer unit, mechanized units, Explosive Ordnance and waterborne had been on search and clearing operations when they spotted a visible thing floating on the waters of Lake Lanao.
Upon noticing it, one of the team members saw that it was a weapon, prompting him to dive down to get it.
The other groups participated in the search and discovered more weapons underneath.
It is believed the terrorist during the last hours of the firefight when they had smelled defeat and when they were about to make their final escape threw their weapons into the lake.
At noontime the other day, at least 30 firearms had been recovered while presuming that more firearms were still on the lakebed.
Brawner said continued search operations in the waters were continuing.
At least 1,000 terrorist fighters were killed while several others were severely wounded during the five-month Marawi City crisis.
The Marawi City siege ended its episode when security forces killed the chieftain of the Abu Sayyaf and IS emir in Southeast Asia, Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Abdullah Maute, the leader of the Maute group.