Soldiers kill 3 BIFF bandits in Maguindanao town

John Unson - Philstar.com
Soldiers kill 3 BIFF bandits in Maguindanao town
This photo shows the firearms, grenades and other belongings recovered from the three slain members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
John Unson

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Soldiers killed three more members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and wounded four others in a spate of clashes at dawn Sunday.

The BIFF, which uses the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is tagged in all deadly bombings in central Mindanao since 2014.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division said soldiers were on their way to an interior area in Barangay Linantangan in Shariff Saidona Mustapha to check on the reported presence of BIFF gunmen when they were attacked, sparking a gunfight.

Local officials and barangay leaders told reporters the BIFF members who fired at the soldiers belong to a group led by Muslimin Amilil.

Amilil is wanted for heinous offenses, including cattle theft, drug trafficking and collection of protection money from hapless villagers.

The remains of three BIFF members were found sprawled at different spots in the scene of the encounter. Soldiers found in their pistol bags and trouser pockets shabu in sealed sachets.

Villagers said four BIFF members were wounded in the incident, two of them identified as Ali and Nasrudin, both adolescents.

Uy, also commander of the Army-led anti-terror Joint Task Force Central, said it was vigilant villagers who reported to military detachments nearby the presence of BIFF members in Barangay Linantangan.

Personnel of different units of 6th ID have killed 26 BIFF members in clashes in different towns in Maguindanao province from between December 2020 to May 30 this year.

Soldiers chasing the BIFF members as they scampered away from Barangay Linantangan carrying their four wounded companions left behind components for improvised explosive devices.  

The deadly gunfight in Barangay Linantangan was preceded by Saturday’s takeover by soldiers of an abandoned BIFF lair in Barangay Saniag in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Uy said the BIFF hideout has 12 foxholes and makeshift shelters that can accommodate no fewer than 50 gunmen.

The hinterlands around Barangay Saniag were scenes of bloody Army-BIFF clashes in the past eight months.





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