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39 from ISIS-inspired terror groups surrender to military

Roel Pareño - Philstar.com
39 from ISIS-inspired terror groups surrender to military
This file photo shows Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City, the headquarters of the Wesmincom.
AFP Western Mindanao Command Facebook page

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Dozens of Islamic State-inspired local terror group fighters and field commanders surrendered themselves and their high-powered firearms and improvised bombs to the government and military on Friday, security officials said.

Maj. Andrew Linao, spokesman of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said the militants, including 33 fighters of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) from the Bungos and Karialan factions, and six members of the Daulah Islamiyah (DI) Turaife group, were presented to Joint Task Force Central and 6th Infantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy.

The surrender of the militants was assisted by the troops of 601st Brigade under Col. Oriel Pangcog, 6th Infantry Battalion led by Lt. Col. Charlie Banaag, and forces of the Field Guard and Base Command National Guard Front of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces led by Datu Rhenz Tukuran, according to Linao.

The military said the militants surrendered 37 high-powered firearms, including two cal. 50 Barrett Sniper rifles, eleven 7.62mm Sniper rifles, three 5.56mm M16A1 rifles, three cal. 30 M1 Garand rifles, two 7.62mm M14 rifles, two cal. 30 converted to M14 rifles, one 5.56mm M653 Carbine, one cal. 30 Bolt Action rifle, one cal. 30 Carbine, and three 5.56mm rifles.

Uy said the militants also surrendered two rocket-propelled grenade launchers (RPG), four 40mm M79 grenade launchers, two 60mm mortar, , four rocket-propelled grenade high explosive ammunition, one 105mm projectile, one rocket warhead, one 2.75 inch rocket warhead, three Sidik RPG, five rounds 40mm HE AVACOR cartridges, and five improvised explosive devices (IED).

"We are happy that they finally decided to come out and surrender together with their followers. They will receive livelihood assistance to be catered by the AGILA-HAVEN program of the province of Maguindanao," Uy said.

According to Uy, among those who surrendered were field commanders of the BIFF.

Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., Westmincom chief, lauded the ground troops and the MILF in working for the peaceful surrender of the militant members.

"This massive surrender of former combatants proves that we are winning the war against terrorism and insurgency in our area of operation," Rosario said.

Rosario expressed optimism that the military will be able to dismantle the local terror group if the peaceful and military efforts continue relentlessly in Central Mindanao area. 

BANGSAMO­RO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS

DAWLAH ISLAMIYAH

WESTERN MINDANAO COMMAND

ZAMBOANGA CITY

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