3 hurt in another BIFF anti-tank rocket attack
John Unson (The Philippine Star) - November 15, 2014 - 5:28pm

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines — Three more civilians were hurt as marauding members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) attacked before midnight Friday another village in Pikit town in the province.

Hundreds of families in remote villages have been dislocated as a result of the BIFF incursions on farming enclaves in Pikit, which began before dawn Wednesday.

The wounded villagers, spouses Raul and Rosalinda Sahid, both 50 years old, and their five-year-old grandson, Clark Joseph Pineda, were fleeing from their village when a B-40 anti-tank rocket fired by a bandit from a distance landed near them.

The three injured are now confined at a hospital.

Two evacuees, Rayhana Acmad and Kantoh Saguidasan, were killed by bandits in an attack on another barangay in the same town before dawn Wednesday.

Col. Dickson Hermoso, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the BIFF pulled off more attacks late Thursday to forestall a military operation aimed at clearing riverside enclaves at the border of Pikit and Datu Piang town in Maguindanao from bandits.

"They have recklessly been firing mortars and rocket-propelled grenades at Moro villages," Hermoso said.

Inspector Sindato Karim, chief of the Pikit municipal police, said some 500 displaced families are now housed in makeshift relief sites in Barangay Kabasalan and Bulol, about seven kilometers northeast of the barangays the BIFF attacked.

Local officials said the marauding BIFF bandits are led by radical two clerics, Karialan and Tambako, both henchman of jihadist Ameril Ombra Kato.

Kato, who studied Islamic theology in Saudi Arabia in the late 1970s, started as chief of the 105th Base Command of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, but was booted out in early 2010 for insubordination and other offenses.

In early 2011, Kato organized the BIFF, now comprised of guerillas the MILF had dropped from its roster for misbehavior.

Units of the Army's 7th Infantry Battalion, which has jurisdiction over Pikit and nearby towns, pounded with 105 Howitzer Cannons the advancing BIFF gunmen to prevent them from getting through the center of the barangays they have been attacking since Wednesday.

North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, chair of the provincial peace and order council, said relief workers have been dispatched to attend to the needs of evacuees.

Hermoso said they have been receiving persistent feedback from barangay folks that an undetermined number of BIFF bandits were killed in military counter-offensives.

"Our response to these attacks is calibrated, just enough to prevent the bandits from getting close to populated areas," Hermoso said.

AMERIL OMBRA KATO BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS BARANGAY KABASALAN AND BULOL BASE COMMAND OF THE MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT BIFF CLARK JOSEPH PINEDA DICKSON HERMOSO EMMYLOU TALI HERMOSO PIKIT
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with