Wednesday Mar, 22 2023 04:03:06 AM

More BIFF bandits neutralized in 6th ID anti-terror drive

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 14:30 PM Tue Jul 30, 2019
John M. Unson
Soldiers in checkpoints on highways in Maguindanao are presently on full alert.

MAGUINDANAO --- Nine more militants were killed in recurring clashes since Thursday between soldiers and a local Islamic State-inspired group wanted for deadly bombings.

The Western Mindanao Command reported Tuesday morning that personnel of the Army’s 6thInfantry Division neutralized nine more members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters by noontime Monday in gunfights in Shariff Saidona Mustapha town in Maguindanao.

The slain bandits were all followers of Abu Toraife, whose real name is Abdulmalik Esmael, leader of one of three factions in the BIFF, all using the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as banner.

Barangay officials in the adjoining Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces identified seven of the nine latest BIFF fatalities as Abdul Mosaiden, Mohammad Sakar, Hamid Ekal, Maula Samad, Esmail Kagui Malang, Muner Akbal and Musanep Kabelan, all ethnic Maguindanaons.

The sources, among them members of municipal peace and order councils in the two provinces, said the two other slain BIFF terrorists were known only as Arum and Kused among villagers.

Six bandits, four of them identified as Oman, Andok, Taleng and Kasim were killed in encounters three days before.

The WestMinCom said the on-going hunt by the 6th ID for BIFF bandits in towns located along the Liguasan Delta has been coordinated with the ceasefire committee of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The BIFF, feared for bombing markets, commercial establishments and terminals of public conveyances to avenge deaths of members in encounters with government security forces, is not covered by the peace process between Malacañang and the MILF.

Lt. Col. Roberto Breboneria, spokesman of 6th ID, said their law-enforcement operation in towns located along the Liguasan Delta is aimed at neutralizing wanted BIFF bomb-makers implicated in deadly bombings in Central Mindanao.

Breboneria said residents of barangays near the scenes of the Army-BIFF encounters have confirmed seeing bandits carry improvised explosive devices as they move from one area to another to elude pursuing soldiers.

He said units of 6th ID have also been guarding against possible BIFF retaliations.


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