AFP heightens ops vs. Daulah Islamiyah units in Lanao Sur

By Priam Nepomuceno

December 5, 2023, 2:18 pm

<p>AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. on Tuesday said the military has launched intensified operations against the Daulah Islamiyah (DI) local terrorist group operating in Lanao del Sur.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Brawner said they are also looking into reports that terror group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is behind Sunday's bombing at the Mindanao State University (MSU) gym in Marawi City that killed four persons and wounded 50 others.

"We're still in the process of investigating this, we are looking at the signature of the bomb and (the) Philippine National Police already has persons of interest. Kaya tinitingnan po natin lahat yan, (we are looking at all that). In the meantime your armed forces are already conducting a manhunt, a massive operation to go against the perpetrators of this incident," he said.

The AFP chief said investigations by military and police explosive experts revealed that the improvised explosive device (IED) or bomb used was based on a 60mm mortar round coupled with an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) round.

Brawner said this IED can produce a powerful explosion once detonated.

"But the PNP (Philippine National Police) said they did not not see any traces of a cell phone or any device that could have triggered this bomb remotely. We are discounting the fact that it is (a) suicide bombing because we do not see remnants of body parts or any indication that it is a suicide bombing," he said.

Brawner, meanwhile, urged the public to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings following the attack.

"Let us be aware of our surroundings, if we see a bag for instance unattended, i-report kaagad natin, (we should report it immediately). If we see for instance in a bus, somebody comes up with a bag at biglang bumaba na wala na yung bag nya (who sudden alighted without any bag), ireport kaagad natin (we should report this immediately), these things would help," he added. (PNA)