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2 BIFF killed, 5 soldiers hurt in Maguindanao clash

Local News • 05:51 AM Thu Mar 24, 2016
Edwin O. Fernandez
Philippine Marines troopers maneuver during a drill in Maguindanao. (contributed photo)

DATU SALIBO, Maguindanao -- At least two bandits were killed and five Marines were hurt in clashes between outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Philippine Marines in a remote village here Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, military and civilian officials said.Captain Joann Petinglay, speaking for the regional Army unit based in Maguindanao, told reporterstwo soldiers were injured on Tuesday night and three more were hurt during the 1 a.m. skirmishes Wednesday. The overnight firefight was sporadic, on and off, Petinglay told reporters, referring to BIFF attacks that started at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Sitio Badak, Barangay Giwang, Datu Salibo.Sporadic exchanges of bullets lasted until about 2 a.m. when the BIFF ceased firing, Petinglay added.Kagi Solayman, a resident of Datu Salibo, said words have spread among residents of two BIFF fatalities hurriedly buried in the dried up marshland. That's what I heard from the people inside, he said.Petinglay could not say if the BIFF suffered fatalities and could not confirm information shared by residents as the Army has not recovered dead bodies.The five injured Marines are now being treated at Camp Siongco Hospital in Camp Gonzalo Siongco, the home-base of the 6th Infantry Division.Army reports said about 30 BIFF fighters, led by Commander Bongos, the current leader of the bandit group operating in Maguinanao, simultaneously fired at a group of Marine troopers who hadjust finished clearing operations to rid the village of improvised bombs planted by the BIFF.Petinglay said the Army is rushing to complete the clearing operations per directive from 6th ID chief Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan to terminate the operation before election.

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