From InterAksyon (Jan 31): WATCH | Military in hot pursuit of wounded Hapilon, Maute Group
Truckloads of military troops continued to pour in the mountains of Butig, Lanao del Sur in pursuit of wounded Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Isnilon Hapilon and his men and the Maute Group, which provided him sanctuary and formed an alliance with the terror group.
According to a News5 source, Hapilon is still in Butig and being brought around on a stretcher after he was seriously wounded when he was hit by shrapnel on the right arm in an airstrike on January 25.
Hapilon is being nursed by medical student Hafidah Romato Maute, one of the inmates who escaped from the Lanao del Sur jail in August last year.
Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año on Sunday said that Hapilon needs blood transfusion and may die if not immediately given medical attention.
Two weeks have passed since Hapilon and his men - based in Basilan - had traveled to Butig “at the behest” of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, reportedly to explore the possibility of making Central Mindanao IS' new haven in Asia.
To date, at least 15 jihadists have been killed and seven wounded in the continuing intensified military operations against the terrorists.
General Año said the deaths were caused by artillery barrages and FA-50 airstrikes, though he did not rule out the possibility that in coming days, the government troops might be involved in actual, on-ground firefights.
As this developed, elements of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group raided a compound inside the Mindanao State University in Marawi City where members of the Maute Group are believed hiding.
Two improvised explosive devices were seized in two separate unoccupied rooms and 10 men were rounded up.
The 10 men and the owner of the house, Monawera Macadindang, were invited for questioning and were later released.
WATCH THE NEWS5 VIDEO REPORT BY KAYE IMSON BELOW: