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Bandits kill soldier, hurt 2 others in Maguindanao

Local News • 01:51 AM Thu Mar 3, 2016
John Unson
Government forces prepare for any BIFF offensives in Datu Salibo, Maguindanao in this file photo. (John Unson

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao -- Bandits on Tuesday killed an Army combatant and wounded two others in another attack in a secluded barangay in Maguindanao’s Datu Salibo town, forcing more innocent villagers to relocate to safer areas.The slain soldier and his companions were patrolling in Barangay Tee west of Datu Salibo when members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) attacked from different directions, provoking an hour-long running firefight.About a dozen soldiers have been killed in a continuing spate of guerilla attacks by BIFF bandits since early January in Maguindanao’s adjoining Datu Salibo, Shariff Saidona, Datu Piang and Datu Saudi towns.The skirmishes dislocated some 5,000 families, many of them still in squalid evacuation sites, reluctant to return home for fear of their lives.Most of the soldiers killed in recent weeks perished in roadside bombings while clearing farmlands from improvised explosive devices and smaller booby traps planted by BIFF gunmen along farm trails connecting peasant enclaves to public markets.Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Army’s 6thInfantry Division, confirmed the death of a soldier in the latest military-BIFF encounter in Datu Salibo.Petinglay said their community patrols in Maguindanao’s conflict-stricken areas will continue to prevent marauding BIFF bandits from getting close to peasants enclaves.The two soldiers wounded in Tuesday's skirmishes with BIFF bandits are now confined in a hospital.

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