War planes, helicopters pound Umbra Kato's group in Maguindanao

June 5, 2009 1:50 pm 

CAMP PANACAN, Davao City, June 5 – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday afternoon deployed war planes and gunship helicopters to support ground troops fighting the group of wanted Lawless Moro Islamic Liberation Front Group (LMG) leader Ameril Umbra Kato in Talayan and Muti areas, in Guindulungan, Maguindanao province, a sketchy report reaching the area command center of the AFP here stated.

A flash report received at AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMincom) tactical operation center based in Davao Gulf coming from 6th “Kampilan” Division commander Maj. Gen. Alfredo Cayton, also said that five government soldiers were already wounded in the ongoing skirmishes in said areas.

The wounded soldiers were immediately airlifted in Camp Siongco Awang Hospital for medical treatment.

The fierce gunbattle started on Thursday afternoon. after some 60 heavily armed LMG’s reportedly attack the Army detachment in Guindulungan, field report said.

Philippine Air Force OV-10 attack planes and MG-520 attack helicopters extended air support to combat maneuvering troops of the 75th Infantry Battalion and 46th Infantry Battalion, who were currently battling the fleeing LMG’s in Talayan and Muti, field report said.

As this developed, Cayton deployed more combat maneuvering troops in the battle areas.

Meanwhile, the latest report coming from the 6th “Kampilan” Division said that the fleeing LMGs suffered heavy fatalities.

Report coming from the ground said that most of the fleeing rebels were already hit by the ground and air assault.

Field report also said that pursuing troops hit the “exact and specific location” of the fleeing rebels.

However, field report cannot determined if Kato, who has a P10 million bounty was among those hit.

MILF hierarchy cannot be contacted for comment regarding the latest incident in Guindulungan. (PNA)

RMA/MUC/utb

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