Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Army thwarts attempt to disrupt class opening at MSU-Marawi

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 22): Army thwarts attempt to disrupt class opening at MSU-Marawi

The ISIS-inspired Maute group on Tuesday attacked a military outpost, which authorities described as an attempt to disrupt the opening of classes at the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City.

The attack happened around 4:45 a.m. at a temporary military outpost in Barangay Poblacion in Marantao, Lanao del Sur, the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) reported.A member of the Maute group was killed when government troops returned fire. The troops recovered the remains of the slain Maute attacker.

The troops also recovered two rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition link for M-60 machine gun, and M-203 ammunition.

“In their attempt to cause havoc, the terrorists even incurred casualties with the preparation of our ground troops,” said Brig. Gen. Joselito Rolando Bautista, Joint Task Force Marawi commander.

Troops further tightened checkpoints in their respective areas of operation to preempt any diversionary attacks by the Maute group to disrupt the opening of classes at the MSU.

“We are on top of the situation and our troops are prepositioned to thwart any attempts by the terrorists to hamper security. We are also denying reports that there is a lockdown within the campus of the Mindanao State University or its immediate vicinity.

Classes at the said university already resumed this morning,” Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Westmincom chief said.

“With the heightened security, students were transported from Iligan City to Marawi earlier today,” he added.

About 600 students and MSU officials aboard 12 buses left Iligan City and were escorted by the military and police to MSU campus.

“We will make sure that any attempts to thwart our plans for normalcy of Marawi City will not be successful,” Galvez said.

“With the help of the MSU community and those who desire to build back a better Marawi City, we are sure that we can defeat any terror group from perpetrating their plan,” he added.

A send-off ceremony was held at around 8 a.m. with Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia; Jamaloden Basar, OIC of MSU; Colonel Allan Hambala, chief of staff of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division; and Supt. Ebra Moxir of the Marawi City police.

The Westmincom said the students arrived at the MSU campus in Marawi City around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday. An opening program was also held at Antonio Isidro Hall inside the MSU campus.

MSU Division of the Student Affairs Director Usman Aragasi welcomed the students, officials, military and police officers present.

He also expressed gratitude to the Joint Task Group Ranao for the support extended to them.

National Youth Commission chair Aiza Seguerra also graced the opening of classes at MSU.


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