Attack on Army post in Bayang, Lanao del Sur a diversionary tactic by Maute Group?

Image by Mike Gonzalez CC BY-SA 3.0

• Armed men attacked an Army post in a town near Marawi City
• The AFP confirmed the attack
• The military believes the attack was a diversionary tactic by the Maute Group

The mayor of Bayang town in Lanao del Sur claimed around 20 black-clad armed men attacked the detachment of Bravo Company of the Army’s 65th Infantry Battalion near the town hall early this week.

“May lumusob na unidentified black group doon sa upper portion ng bayan ko. Inaano nila ang kampo doon ng military. May pinaputukan sila doon. Fortunately, nawala ang mga tao,” Rappler quoted Mayor Aslani Pangarungan Balt saying.

[An unidentified black group attacked and fired at a military camp in the upper portion of my town. Fortunately, the men withdrew.]

Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Joint Task Force Ranao confirmed the attack, but said only seven armed men were involved. A brief firefight lasting only a minute ensued and then the armed men retreated.

“The firefight only lasted for one minute. The troops on the ground were expecting the fighting to last long, but the attackers immediately retreated,” Brawner said.

Brawner called the attack a “nuisance harassment” and said they are looking into the possibility that it was a “diversionary tactic” to move the military’s attention away from Marawi City where government troops are still battling at least 40 terrorists.