5 BIFF bandits killed in firefight with Army

John Unson - Philstar.com
5 BIFF bandits killed in firefight with Army

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines – Five members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters perished in a firefight with pursuing soldiers in Datu Paglas Wednesday.

The five BIFF gunmen, initially identified only as Anding, Said, Bitol, Musib and Habib, were killed in an encounter with soldiers of the Army's 601st Infantry Brigade.

Habib was from North Cotabato, according to sources in the area.

They were among about a hundred BIFF gunmen who stormed the town proper of Datu Paglas town in Maguindanao on Saturday morning, provoking an hour-long gunfight with responding military units.

Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade, said soldiers were to check on the reported presence of armed men in the outskirts of Datu Paglas when they were attacked, sparking a gunfight that resulted in the death of the five BIFF bandits

The encounter was preceded by Tuesday's meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and senior officials of the Bangsamoro region and local executives from Maguindanao in the Army's Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao.

Duterte then warned the government would flex its full military might against the BIFF if Bangsamoro officials and local government units in the province cannot help neutralize its forces in Maguindanao.

The chief minister of BARMM, Ahod Ebrahim, is chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The MILF and Malacañang are bound by agreements to cooperate in addressing security issues in the Bangsamoro region. 

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