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Troops search for terrorists in Lanao del Sur

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MARAWI CITY – Government troops were searching for suspected terrorists who escaped security forces during a car chase in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province in the Muslim autonomous region in southern Philippines, officials said Saturday.

Officials said troops recovered the car, including a powerful improvised explosive assembled from a 105mm howitzer rigged to a transceiver radio.

Also found inside the car were Special Action Force uniform, several documents espousing the Islamic State ideology and other personal belongings, a dash camera among others.

The car was believed being used by the jihadist group of Abdullah Maute to transport improvised explosives and weapons from Marawi to Cagayan de Oro City and other areas in northern Mindanao.

Maute’s group was said to be behind the July 27 rocket attack on a military base in Marawi City and a failed bombing outside the camp. Maute also clashed with troops in the province in recent weeks.

The hostilities ensued after a senior member of the Khilafah Islamiyah Movement (KIM) Abdul Rahman, who is currently fighting alongside the IS in Al-Raqqah province in Syria, ordered its supporters in Southeast Asia to wage war in the volatile island of Mindanao.

The KIM was also blamed for the bombings in Cagayan De Oro City in July 26, 2013 that killed eight people, and similar attacks in the cities of Iligan and Cotabato, including Bukidnon province. (Moh Saaduddin)

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