by WorldTribune Staff, August 29, 2016
A group of jihadists aligned with Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) stormed a Philippine prison on Aug. 27 and freed eight of their comrades, according to a report.
The Philippine star reported that about 20 Maute Group gunmen armed with RPGs, AK-47s and M-14s raided the Lanao del Sur provincial prison in Marawi. In addition to freeing eight fellow jihadists and 20 other prisoners, the terrorists also stole weaponry from security personnel at the prison.
Among those freed was the alleged founder of the jihadist group Dawlah Islamiya, which translates to Islamic State.
The escapees were captured recently with homemade mortars at a security checkpoint, according to The New York Times.
The other convicts who were freed during the jihadists’ raid were reportedly being held for murder and drug-related crimes.
The Maute Group is a Muslim militant group that operates out of Butig and is led by Abdullah Maute, who is reported to have sworn allegiance to ISIL. The terrorists are said to be responsible for a number of bombings and kidnappings in the Mindanao region, where the prison is located.
While the majority of the Philippines is Catholic, Mindanao is predominantly Muslim. This region is home to several militant separatist groups, some of which have sworn allegiance to ISIL, reports the BBC.
After an altercation with the Maute Group in March, Philippine troops discovered ISIL training manuals and paraphernalia at the group’s camp.