BIFF leader, 10 followers killed in Maguindanao del Sur clash

John Unson - Philstar.com
BIFF leader, 10 followers killed in Maguindanao del Sur clash
The remains of the11 terrorists killed in an encounter with soldiers in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur were immediately turned over to barangay officials for proper burial.
Photo courtesy of Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — The top leader of one of three factions in the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, wanted for 47 heinous crimes in different courts, and his ten followers died in a clash with soldiers in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur on Monday.

Members of different Municipal Peace and Order Councils in the province and commanders of units under the Army’s 6th Infantry Division confirmed on Tuesday morning the death of BIFF leader Kagui Karialan, whose real name is Mohiden Alimodin Animbang.

Karialan, tagged in more than 20 deadly bombings in Central Mindanao in the past seven years, died on the spot from three bullet wounds in the upper torso and in the head that he sustained in their exchanges of gunfire with Army Scout Rangers and personnel of the 1st Brigade Combat Team.

Army Brig. Gen. Jose Vladimir Cagara of the 1st BCT and his superior, Major Gen. Alex Rillera, commander of 6th ID, separately told reporters that the operation which resulted in the death of Karialan and his ten followers, among them his younger brother, Saga Alimodin Animbang, was launched after barangay officials and local executives reported their presence in Barangay Kitango, as if preparing for an attack.

The younger Animbang was one of the 74 men trained in fabrication of powerful improvised explosive devices by the foreign terrorist Zulkfli bin Hir, alias "Marwan," who was killed in an encounter with personnel of the police’s elite Special Action Force in Dapantis in Mamasapano, Maguindanao del Sur on Jan. 25, 2015. 

“We are thankful to the vigilant people who promptly provided our units in Maguindanao del Sur with information about the convergence there of these terrorists, enabling us to immediately launch a calibrated anti-terror strike,” Rillera said.

The BIFF faction, led by the slain Karialan is the most radical in the group, operates in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Karialan and his men were known for bombing buses if operators refuse to shell out “protection money” on a periodic basis and for coddling people trafficking shabu and marijuana in exchange for money. 

More than a dozen of the 47 criminal cases he faced in different courts pertained to arson, large-scale extortion and the brutal gangland style execution of villagers on mere suspicion of conniving with the police and the military.

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