Army drives BIFF away from Datu Piang, Maguindanao

John Unson - Philstar.com
Army drives BIFF away from Datu Piang, Maguindanao
This satellite image shows Datu Piang in Maguindanao province.
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MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters attacked an Army detachment, shot houses and burned a police car in the center of Datu Piang town late Thursday night, sending villagers running for their lives.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said Friday that soldiers, backed by armored vehicles, managed to drive the BIFF bandits away after a heavy exchange of gunfire.

"Authorities are on top of the situation. Normalcy in the area was restored after our troops flushed them out," Uy said.

The BIFF, also known as the Dawlah Islamiya, operates in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The police and military have tagged the BIFF in deadly bombings in central Mindanao since 2014.

Uy has clarified that the Santa Teresita Church in the town proper of Datu Piang was not burned by BIFF bandits, contrary to initial reports from the municipality.

Datu Piang is located in the second district of Maguindanao, a component province of the Bangsamoro region.

BIFF gunmen also fired at houses as they fled, according to Uy.

Lt. Col. Anhouvic Atilano, spokesperson of 6th ID, said the terrorists behind the attack are followers of a certain Commander Motorola, a henchman of Imam Karialan, who is leader of one of three factions in the BIFF.

Atilano, citing information from Datu Piang residents, said the BIFF launched the attack to project their supposed strength despite the surrender in batches of almost 200 members to the 6th ID in recent months.  



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