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In parting message, Maute fighters threaten to behead military, Duterte


Before fleeing the town of Butig in Lanao del Sur, the Maute local terrorist group left a "parting message" threatening to behead not only the military they were engaged in a firefight with, but also President Rodrigo Duterte.

In his report on News to Go on Friday, GMA News' Chino Gaston said the threats were left written on a chalkboard.

"Humanda kayong mga sondaro/popogotan namen kayo ng mga olo," read the message to members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, who have taken back the town from the group.

Meanwhile, their message to Duterte read: "TAGOT/Homanda ka Duterte popotan/namen ikaw nang olo."

On Thursday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines announced that it has taken back control of Butig, where the Maute group had raised the black ISIS flag. 

The NTG report said videos obtained by GMA News showed that the soldiers were still careful, hiding behind houses as they fought the Maute group that morning.

Fighters from the local terrorist group strengthened their position by putting sniper perches and running trenches in different parts of the town.

The military was able to retake control of the town after hours of firefight, putting up the Philippine flag again.

Clearing operations of the Army Explosives and Ordnance Division is ongoing because of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and bobby traps left by the Maute group.

The NTG report said that based on the group's direction as they backed away from the town, they may have headed to the heavily forested area of the mountain just behind Butig.

It isn't clear whether the military will chase them up to that area, it added.

There are also no estimates in the meantime as to how many members of the local terrorist group survived the military operations, the report said.

The military said at least 40 members of the group have been killed

Citing documents seen prior to the assault, however, Gaston said Maute Group's fighting force is estimated at more than 300 fighters, with some 100 high-powered firearms and 50 IEDs.

The report also said that these IEDs are similar to the one that exploded at the Roxas Night Market in Davao City last September—which led Duterte to declare a state of lawless violence—as well as the bomb that injured nine people, including seven members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) in Marawi City. — Rose-An Jessica Dioquino/RSJ, GMA News 

Tags: mautegroup
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