SCUBA TERRORISTS: Reports from Marawi recommend would-be jihadis could also be attempting to enter the besieged lakeside metropolis utilizing diving gear.
The army says it has acquired studies that recognized sympathisers of the Islamic State-linked militants have been making an attempt to get their fingers on masks and oxygen tanks.
Speaking at a press briefing as we speak, Colonel Romeo Brawner stated: “We received some reports that there were efforts to procure or produce scuba equipment by the Maute but so far we have not caught or seen cases of Maute coming into the battle area using this equipment.”
Lake a tricky process for scuba terrorists
Zia Alonto Adiong, an area authorities spokesman, stated the scuba terrorists would discover it tough to navigate Lake Lanao.
“There have been several attempts,” he stated. “Even the National Geographic came to visit to get fish which can be endemic to the lake.
“They weren’t ready to go down deep sufficient.
“I don’t know how they can manage to sneak out using scuba equipment. There is a big difference when you do scuba diving on salt water compared to fresh water. I am not discounting the possibility, but it is quite hard.”
Col. Brawner’s unit is accountable for guarding the lake, and consists of items from the navy, maritime police and armed forces. He stated they had been working to stop reinforcements “whether it is on the surface or subsurface”.
“We can’t be 100 per cent positive however so far as we all know we have now been ready to stop the entry of potential reinforcements and the entry of provides.
“If you look at the operations for the past weeks, we have been able to prevent the entry of boats and neutralise some of the elements that attempted to come in.”
Ten reinforcements killed on boat
The risk of reinforcements coming into the battle space is a giant concern for the army. As we reported final month, troops intercepted two boats carrying armed males shifting towards the battle space. Ten militants had been killed within the conflict.
Muslim insurgent group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has come to the help of the army in latest weeks.
Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesman of Joint Task Force Marawi, stated the insurgent group was additionally sharing intelligence with the army.
“They have been very successful in their previous operations and members of the MILF have died because of the recent clashes. It is a welcome development. They are helping us address the problem against terrorism,” she stated.
Love or cash attracts assist
The army consider that folks making an attempt to enter the battle space are both enticed by financial rewards or by loyalty to the Maute clan.
Col. Brawner stated: “Some are being paid for his or her boats in order that they may usher in reinforcements by the lake. All these studies we acquired have been confirmed to be true.
“The Maute terrorist group is using monetary compensation to recruit people, and buy services as well as supplies.”
Of these making an attempt to enter the battle zone out of loyalty, Capt. Petinglay stated: “We have monitored that a few of those that need to enter the battle space are family.
“Probably the relatives of the Maute members inside are asking for their help.”
The battle space is now confined to about 20 hectares and the army is aiming to finish the battle “before October”.
Up to 145 authorities forces, no less than 45 civilians and greater than 600 terrorists have been killed within the chaos that has displaced up to 600,000 civilians.