Tuesday Jun, 15 2021 05:12:43 AM

5 BIFF bandits killed in latest Maguindanao hostilities 

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 14:30 PM Wed May 12, 2021
John M. Unson

MAGUINDANAO - Five members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters perished in a gunfight with pursuing soldiers in Datu Paglas Wednesday.

The four BIFF gunmen, initially identified only as Anding, Said, Bitol, Musib and Habib, got killed in an encounter with soldiers under the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade.

Habib was from nearby North Cotabato province, according to sources in the province.

They were among about a hundred BIFF gunmen who stormed the town proper of Datu Paglas town

in Maguindanao on Saturday morning, provoking an hour-long gunfight with responding military units.

Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade, said soldiers were to check on the reported presence of armed men in the outskirts of Datu Paglas when they were attacked, sparking a gunfight that resulted in the death of the four BIFF bandits

The encounter was preceded by Tuesday’s meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and senior officials of the Bangsamoro region and local executives from Maguindanao in the Army’s Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao.

Duterte then warned to fully flex military might against the BIFF if regional officials and local government units in province cannot help neutralize forces of the group that has bastions in Maguindanao.

Duterte urged also officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao present in the meeting to help address the problem.

The chief minister of BARMM, Hadji Ahod Ebrahim, is chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The MILF and Malacañang are bound by security compacts enjoining both sides to cooperate in addressing security issues in the Bangsamoro region.

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