4 gunmen killed as Army foils BIFF roadside bombing plot

John Unson - Philstar.com
4 gunmen killed as Army foils BIFF roadside bombing plot
A soldier deactivates the improvised explosive devices found along the escape routes of terrorists after Sunday's hostilities in Shariff Saidona, Maguindanao.
John Unson

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Soldiers foiled Sunday an attempt by local terrorists to lay roadside bombs along arterial networks in a troubled town in this province, killing four in a gunfight that left three others wounded.

The hostilities in Barangay Pagatin in Shariff Saidona Mustapha, Maguindanao erupted when members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters opened fire on soldiers responding to reports by villagers about the presence of gunmen in the area, as if bracing for an attack.

Residents told reporters Monday the BIFF gunmen were to bring improvised explosive devices along highways crisscrossing Shariff Saidona Mustapha and nearby towns.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said Monday the BIFF bandits scampered away when they sensed that more reinforcements from the 6th Infantry Battalion and the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade were closing in.

Members of peace and order councils in Shariff Saidona Mustapha and in nearby Datu Piang, Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Mamasapano towns said text messages and talks are spreading around purporting that the fleeing BIFF bandits carried four dead companions, Salik Muntas, Badrudin Bendo, Guiday Amil and Madsid Mindo

Three other BIFF gunmen, Dingan Guiabal, Morsid Sidik and Modi Maksud, were confirmed wounded in Sunday’s clashes that waned only after the terrorists ran out of ammunition and retreated to nearby marshlands in the outskirts of Shariff Saidona Mustapha.

In separate initial reports to Uy, Lt. Col Charlie Banaag and Col. Pedro Balisi, commanding officers of the 6th IB and the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, respectively, said pursuing troops found nine ready-to-use IEDs along the escape routes of the terrorists, left as they fled in haste.

The BIFF bandits also set on fire a house near the scene of the encounter as a diversion, apparently meant to distract the attention of soldiers running after them.

The IEDs recovered by soldiers were immediately disposed of by army bomb experts. 




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