2016 Butig clashes

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February 2016 Butig clash
Part of the Moro conflict
Date 20 February – 1 March 2016
7°41′45″N 124°17′52″E / 7.6957°N 124.2977°E / 7.6957; 124.2977Coordinates: 7°41′45″N 124°17′52″E / 7.6957°N 124.2977°E / 7.6957; 124.2977
Status Decisive Philippine victory[1]
Philippines Philippines

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Commanders and leaders
Roseller Murillo
Gerrardo Barrientos Jr.
Philippines Ibrahim Macadato
Omar Maute
Abdullah Maute
Units involved

Armed Forces of the Philippines

≈2,000 soldiers 40+ militants
Casualties and losses
5 killed
7 wounded[2]
55 killed[3]
30,000+ displaced[4]

The 2016 Butig clashes were armed conflicts that began on 20 February 2016 between the Philippine Army and a group of Moro insurgent sympathizers of ISIS and Jemaah Islamiyah led by the Maute group in Butig, Lanao del Sur, Philippines. Three Philippine Army soldiers were killed in action, 11 wounded, and 20 terrorists killed in the early phase of battle. 335 families fled to Marawi City and 657 families took refuge in Masiu.[5][6]

February 2016 clash

The Butig clashes began when a supposed "foreign and local terrorist organization" (FLTO), led by the Maute brothers, harassed the 51st Infantry Battalion, which had been manning a patrol base in Barangay Bayabao on February 20, 2016.[6] Armored personnel carriers and troops were sent to Butig, while the military used two 520MG Defender helicopters to track down the armed men and conducted air strikes against them.[6]

A lull in the fighting occurred that evening, but resumed at dawn the next.[7] According to Armed Forces of the Philippines sources, the skirmishes between Army forces and the Maute group turned into a full blown military offensive with troops using artillery, gunships, and armored personnel carriers against the terrorists.[8]

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Office of Civil Defense stated that approximately 2000 individuals evacuated their homes to avoid getting caught in the crossfire.[9] According to Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, three soldiers were killed and six others were wounded in the sporadic firefights.[9]

November 2016 clash

November 2016 Butig clash
Part of Moro conflict
Date 26 November 2016 (2016-11-26) – 30 November 2016 (2016-11-30)
Status Philippine government victory
Philippines Philippines
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (Relief aid)

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Units involved

Armed Forces of the Philippines

Unknown 200–300[10]
Casualties and losses
no deaths
30 wounded[11]
63 killed
17 wounded[11][12]
2,400 families displaced[13]

On November 26, 2016, the Maute group, a militant organization which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, occupied the town of Butig in Lanao del Sur.[14]

The Maute group lost Camp Darul Iman in Butig to the Philippine military in June 2016. The November 2016 town seizure was reportedly in retaliation of an offensive launched by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.[10]

The Maute group seized the town of Butig in November 26 reportedly with 200 militants. By the second day, the group now with about 300 armed men with grenade launchers have occupied the old town hall building where they replaced the Philippine flag hoisted there with the Black Standard flag used by ISIS. They have also occupied the mosque and the national high school situated inside the town center. All roads leading to Butig was closed to the public. The Tactical Command Post in Lanao has sent reinforcements to aid Philippine soldiers fighting the Maute fighters in Butig. SF-260 trainer planes also dropped 150 pounds (68 kg) bomb in the occupied town center.[10]

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is reportedly coordinating with the government in dealing with the evacuees who fled from the town due to the clash.[15]

By the third day, most of the 17,000 residents of the Muslim-majority town has been evacuated to neighboring municipalities.[14] The old municipal hall was also recaptured by government forces.[16]

Meanwhile during the operation, suspected Maute Group members planted an IED outside the US embassy in Manila, and detonated another in a PSG and military convoy in Marawi that acts as vanguard party for President Duterte's visit in Marawi and Butig, wounding 7 PSG personnel and 2 soldiers.[citation needed]

The offensive by government forces ended in November 30, 2016, with the military saying that the town was deserted and that surviving Maute militants are retreating to the mountains.[11]


  1. ^ Army hoist PH flag in Butig after 10-day firefight
  2. ^ 5 soldiers killed, 7 injured in Lanao clashes
  3. ^ MILF using clashes to push draft law
  4. ^ Gomez, Jim (1 March 2016). "Philippine assault seizes terrorist lair, kills 24 militants". The San Diego Tribune.
  5. ^ "3 soldiers killed, 11 hurt in Lanao del Sur clash". philstar.com. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  6. ^ a b c Umel, Richel. "Army reports killing 20 'terrorists' in clashes with Lanao Sur armed group". globalnation.inquirer.net. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  7. ^ "Lanao del Sur clash kills 5, wounds 1". SunStar Cagayan de Oro. 21 Feb 2016. Retrieved 29 Feb 2016.
  8. ^ "Terror ringleader killed in Lanao del Sur skirmish". Manila Bulletin. 24 Feb 2016. Retrieved 1 Mar 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Thousands displaced by ongoing firefight in Lanao del Sur". CNN Philippines. 23 Feb 2016. Retrieved 29 Feb 2016.
  10. ^ a b c Zambrano, Chiara (27 November 2016). "Army presses offensive in Maute-held Lanao town". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  11. ^ a b c "PH military ends 5-day siege against Maute group". ABS-CBN News. Reuters. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-01-06. Retrieved 2019-02-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Butig clashes displace more than 2,400 families". PhilStar Global. 29 November 2016. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  14. ^ a b Zambrano, Chiara (28 November 2016). "Troops bombard Maute militants as fighting enters third day". ABS-CBN News. ABS-CBN News. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Dureza: Duterte taking bold steps to deal with Maute Group". GMA News. 27 November 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  16. ^ "40 Maute members killed in ongoing Butig purge". Manila Bulletin. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
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