About 50 fully armed men raided the Lanao Del Sur provincial jail Saturday night, freed 28 inmates along with eight suspected local terrorists, the police reported Sunday morning. A police report reaching here past 1:00 a.m. Sunday said that aside from freeing the inmates, the armed men disarmed the jail guards, captured jail officer Modaser Manwang and carted away assorted high powered firearms.
Police investigating the incident, said that no casualties were reported because the jail guards did not put up a fight. Seized were one M16 rifle, one M14 assault rifle, and the patrol car assigned at the Lanao Del Sur Provincial jail, the police report said.
Manwang and 20 other inmates were released later in the village of Caloocan in Marawi City, the police report said.
Police investigators said that the armed men brought with them the eight members of the “Maute group,” a local terrorist group, aboard a motorized boat to an unknown direction.
A military checkpoint intercepted the eight suspected members of the “ Maute group” last week on board a vehicle loaded with high powered firearms and improvised explosive device.
The suspects were reportedly on a mission to sow terror in the neighboring cities of Iligan and Cagayan De Oro apart from a plan to attack the army camp in Marawi City.
The Maute group and the military engaged in an armed skirmishes in the municipal town of Buteg in Lanao Del Sur a few months ago.
Since Saturday night, the police regional command issued a heightened security alert in time for the fiesta celebration in the cities of Iligan and Cagayan De Oro, the police said.
Cagayan De Oro City celebrates its annual fiesta Sunday while Iligan City would celebrate its annual fiesta sometime next month.