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Another BIFF member perish in Maguindanao Army offensive

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 18:15 PM Thu May 26, 2022
302
By: 
John M. Unson
BIFF war materials recovered by Army following Maguindanao offensives. (6th ID photos)

COTABATO CITY --- Another terrorist perished in the military’s airstrikes that targeted lairs of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Datu Salibo town in Maguindanao.

Traditional Moro community leaders identified the fatality as Abdul Patir, whom they said succumbed the other day to injuries sustained in the air attacks by the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, meant to flush BIFF members out from their hideouts in Datu Salibo.

The 6th ID also received reports from local officials and barangay folk that seven gunmen, among them BIFF leader Abu Toraife, got wounded in its anti-terror maneuvers.

Brig. Gen. Eduardo Gubat, commander of 6th ID, said Thursday they are bracing for possible retaliations by the BIFF for the deaths of Patir and Sadam Salandang. 

Salandang was killed in the initial attacks Monday by helicopters equipped with machineguns from the Tactical Operations Group 12 of the Philippine Air Force.

The BIFF, fashioned from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syra, has a reputation for venting ire on non-military targets over losses in clashes with pursuing government forces.

Gubat said the BIFF has helplessly been trying to “project strength” to disprove a mounting public perception that it has been weakened by the surrender of no fewer than 300 members to units of 6th ID in the past 18 months.

“It is not too late yet for its remaining members out there to yield now, reintegrate into mainstream society via our local reconciliation program for the BIFF and its ally, the Dawlah Islamiya,” Gubat said.

Both groups are tagged as behind all deadly bombings in central Mindanao since 2014.

Besides six rifles, soldiers scouring interior villages in Datu Salibo also found improvised explosive devices and 40 millimeter grenade projectiles left by BIFF members as they escaped carrying their wounded companions. 

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