Killed Maute Group members now at 40, 20 troopers hurt

MANILA — Military offensives against the Maute Group, now on its fourth day at Butig town, Lanao Del Sur, has resulted in the death of 40 bandits and wounding of 20 troopers.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a briefing Tuesday government forces continue to inch their way to the Maute Group strongholds in Butig.

However, the military advance is being held up by sniper fire and threats of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks by the bandit group, he added.

Most of the military wounded are not serious and the patients ambulatory, Arevalo said.

The AFP offensive is headed by the 103rd Infantry Brigade which is now reinforced by armor, artillery, and air units.

Arevalo said the Maute Group, which is concentrated in Barangays Sindig and Bayabao, is putting up a tough fight but he expressed confidence that the military will crack up the group’s resistance soon.Priam Nepomuceno/