2 BIFF bandits in market attack slain in clash

Roel Pareño, John Unson (The Philippine Star) - May 17, 2021 - 12:00am

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Two members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), who were among a hundred bandits who attacked the public market in Datu Paglas town  in this province, were killled in an encounter with government security forces in Barangay Mao yesterday.

The fatalities, identified as Mansur Amil and Salem Oting, were followers of Kagui Karialan, leader of one of three BIFF factions, who is facing more than 30 cases for acts of terror, including deadly bombings in central Mindanao.

The firefight broke out when the bandits attacked a group of soldiers who were responding to reports about the presence of armed men in the area.

Three other BIFF men ­– identified as Tatoh, Sanged and Samsudin – were wounded in the encounter, according to residents and religious leaders who informed the military.

Meanwhile, in Basilan, three Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed in a series of encounters with government security forces in Sumisip town yesterday.

Troopers from the Joint Task Force Basilan (JTFB) launched an anti-terror operation in Barangay Baiwas and clashed with eight followers of Abu Sayyaf subleader Pasil Bayali at around 7:40 a.m., according to Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command.

The firefight lasted 30 minutes and resulted in the death of two bandits, Vinluan said, quoting a report submitted by Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway, chief of the Army‘s 101st Brigade and JTFB.

The bandits fled, leaving behind their dead comrades.

A reinforcement unit of the Army encountered the fleeing terrorists and exchanged fire with them for 15 minutes, killing another bandit.

“The troopers recovered the body of the Abu Sayyaf and his rifle,” Gobway said.

The military has yet to identify the bodies.

“We are certain that most of the terrorists suffered gunshot wounds as bloodstains were found by pursuing troopers along the escape route,” Gobway said.

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