TAGOLOAN, Lanao del Norte – A Maute-linked bomb maker was killed in a joint police and military operation in this town Sunday morning.
Former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Northwestern Mindanao Command sub-commander Laut Mabuay alias Mercury was killed in a strike operation jointly launched by the town police and the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army yesterday.
Battalion Commander Ltc. Bernardo Taqueban said they had been receiving reports of Mercury sharing resources and being coddled by an alias Papayongan who is also involved in several kidnapping cases.
“Since nag-join sya last year with the Maute, tinanggal siya sa liderato ng MILF, and Mercury is known to be an IED [improvised explosives device] expert, kumbaga, bomb maker siya. They’re just waiting for the right time na makapaghasik ng atrocities,” Taqueban said.
The military said Mercury may have been on the arrest order which the Department of National Defense issued at the height of the Marawi siege.
Also found in the house where Mercury hid were devices and equipment used for making improvised explosives.
Army Staff Sgt. Edgar Lumantas also died in the operations.
Taqueban said Mercury and Lumantas exchanged fire.
Lumantas, who was a detachment commander in the area, led the operations.