17 Indonesians Evacuated from Marawi


Residents and commuters from Marawi City queue up at a police checkpoint at the entrance to Iligan City on the southern island of of Mindanao.



Jakarta, 7 Ramadan 1438/2 June 2017 (MINA) – A total of 17 Indonesians were safely evacuated from the conflict areas in southern Philippines by the evacuation team from Indonesian embassy and consulate general in coordination with the Philippines security authorities.

Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, the Foreign Ministrys director for the protection of Indonesian nationals and entities abroad, through a short message received by ANTARA on Thursday, said that 11 people were evacuated from Marantao, Lanao del Sur province, about 20 kilometers from Marawi City.

The remaining six people were evacuated from Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte province.

All Indonesians were then taken to Laguindingan Airport in North Mindanao to be immediately flown to Davao City.

“The evacuation was conducted by two different teams after our foreign minister received a security guarantee from the Philippines government to run such a process,” Iqbal stated.

The evacuation process was started on Thursday morning at 7 am local time after being delayed for several days due to unfavorable security situation.

The foreign ministry had previously received an information concerning 16 Indonesians of Jamaah Tabligh members from Bandung, West Java, and Makassar, South Sulawesi, as well as one Indonesian living in Marawi who were caught in the heated conflict in southern Philippines.

After verifying the status of the 17 Indonesians and tracking their exact location, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi immediately ordered the Indonesian Embassy in Manila and Indonesian Consulate General in Davao to evacuate them to safe area.

“The 17 Indonesians are already at the Consulate General in Davao and will soon return to the country,” Iqbal noted.

Earlier, Vice President Jusuf Kalla stressed that the presence of 16 Indonesians in southern Philippines was for dawah purposes, an Islamic practice to spread the message of Allah.

Kalla was sure that they were not involved in militant action of the Maute Group, claiming to be affiliated with ISIS terrorists, as had been previously informed by the Philippines military.

Kalla added that he had received reports from relevant ministries and institutions regarding the activities of Islamic agencies that routinely perform dawah in the Philippines as well as some other countries. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)