Villagers flee as military launches operation vs suspected Maute gunmen

ILIGAN CITY – The military launched an air strike-backed operation against suspected Maute gunmen in Tubaran town in Lanao del Sur on Sunday, but no casualty was immediately reported.

Col. Romeo Brawner, the deputy commander of the Joint Task Force Ranao, told the Inquirer that the bomb run in Sitio Giarong started around 11:45 a.m. The soldiers who conducted the ground operations reportedly clashed with the gunmen.

He said at least 500 families had fled their homes and are now staying at the Tubaran Elementary School as the military also conducted artillery fires against the suspected Maute gunmen holed up in a portion of Sitio Giarong.

He said the army was taking care of the evacuees.

“There is a great chance that the ISIS terrorists have been hit in the air strike and artillery fires,” Brawner said.

As of posting time, the military operation was still ongoing. /ee

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