4 terrorists killed in clash with MILF in Maguindanao

The MILF members were checking out reports of militants converging in their community when the clash happened. Philstar.com/file

4 terrorists killed in clash with MILF in Maguindanao
John Unson (Philstar.com) - August 2, 2017 - 10:36am
MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Four militants were killed in a gunfight with guerrillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Sharif Saidona town in Maguindanao on Wednesday.
 
Two MILF guerillas, Kamsa Karinda and Naim Museco, were wounded in the encounter, and are now both confined in a hospital.
 
Military officials told reporters Karinda and Museco were in a group out to check on the reported convergence in Barangay Pusaw, Sharif Saidona of extremists led by Ismael Abdulmalik and his coddlers, among them a key suspect in the infamous Nov.23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
 
Abdulmalik was a henchman of slain Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, most known as Marwan, who trained him in the fabrication of improvised explosive devices before he was killed by personnel of the police’s elite Special Action Force in nearby Mamasapano town, also in Maguindanao, on January 25, 2015.
 
Barangay folk told reporters the hostilities erupted when Abdulmalik and his companions, operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, attacked the approaching MILF guerrillas, provoking a running firefight.
 
Four were reportedly killed among the followers of Abdulmalik, whom locals identified only as Guiday, Maing, Gadu and Lucman, all adolescents.
 
Lt. Col. Gerry Besana of the Army’s 6th Civil-Military Operations (CMO) Battalion on Wednesday said information relayed to them by community elders indicated that the MILF’s move against the radical Abdulmalik and his followers was in keeping with its existing interim security agreements with the government.
 
The 6th CMO Battalion is a component unit of the Army's 6th Infantry Division.
 
The government and the MILF are bound to mutually cooperate in neutralizing terrorists and criminals in potential flashpoint areas by the Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities negotiators from both sides crafted in 1997.
 
Besana said combined guerillas from the MILF’s 118th Base Command led by Abdulkarim Sinumagad and the 105th Base Command under Hadji Ali Omar were involved in the effort to flush the terrorists out of Barangay Pusaw.

Shots fired at Maguindanao governor's chopper

Sharif Saidona is adjacent Datu Salibo town in Maguindanao, where gunmen attempted last Saturday to shoot down a chartered helicopter carrying Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu.
 
The third-termer provincial governor, then on his way to the Army’s Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao, was nearly hit in the head by one of the 7.62 millimeter slugs fired at the chopper.
 
The police initially suspected that BIFF gunmen could be responsible for the attack.
 
The two factions in the BIFF, one led by Imam Karialan and the other by Imam Bongos, denied any involvement in the incident.
 
Commanders in both outcast militant blocs told reporters that a third group, led by suspects in the Maguindanao massacre, shot the governor’s rented helicopter using customized rifles fitted with scopes.
 
Mangudadatu is a party to the prosecution of the perpetrators of the massacre, the country’s worst election-related violence ever that resulted in the death of his wife, Genalyn, and 57 others, among them 32 journalists.
 
Community sources told reporters the gunmen who shot the governor’s rented helicopter were seen with Abdumalik shortly before the hostilities in Barangay Pusaw erupted on Wednesday.
 
Abdulmalik started as a commander in the BIFF but bolted last year, along with companions Salahudin Hassan, Bashir Ungab, Nasser Adil and Ansari Yunos, and formed an independent group claiming allegiance to ISIS.
 
They have even started using the black Islamic State flag when they roam around to collect money from hapless villagers and foment public hatred to government using poverty and underdevelopment in Moro communities as talking points.

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