Thursday Jun, 04 2020 03:07:45 PM

Retaliations for 7 slain BIFF terrorists possible

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 12:00 PM Thu Oct 24, 2019
John M. Unson
Officials inspect the firearms of the slain BIFF members. (Photos from 34th IB via 6th ID Public Affairs Office).

NORTH COTABATO  --- Authorities are anticipating retaliations by  local terror group after seven members  were killed Wednesday in a clash with combined police and Army personnel in Midsayap town.

A wanted bomber, Mama Macalimbol, and six of his henchmen were killed in the incident.

Macalimbol, a key member of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, is wanted for a series of recent bombings in central Mindanao.

Macalimbol faced criminal cases in local courts.

Macalimbol and his cohorts were shot dead one after another in a brief encounter with combined personnel of the Midsayap municipal police and the Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Tumbras in Midsayap town in the first district of North Cotabato.

The police-Army team was dispatched to Barangay Tumbras to check on the reported presence there of Macalimbol and his followers but were forced to neutralize them when they opened fire while their hideout was being cordoned.

Investigators found rifles and explosives beside the cadavers of the slain BIFF members.

The BIFF operates in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and has been trying to sabotage the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The remains of Macalimbol and his followers were immediately turned over by the 34th IB to relatives, according to the Army's 6th Infantry Division.

Major Gen. Diosdado Carreon, commander of 6th ID, said Army units in North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao provinces are guarding against possible retaliations for the deaths of the seven terrorists.

The BIFF has a reputation for attacking off-duty soldiers and for bombing public places to avenge losses with encounters with pursuing state security forces.

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