From InterAksyon (Jan 30): 40 BIFF killed in encounter with govt forces in Maguindanao, North Cotabato - military
Young BIFF fighter. ROMY ELUSFA FILE PHOTO
Forty members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters have been killed in encounters with government forces in Maguindanao and North Cotabato following the signing of the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The BIFF is the splinter group of the MILF.
Aside from those who were killed, 12 BIFF members were also injured in the encounter, according to the spokesman of the 6th Infantry Division Col. Dickson Hermoso.
One soldier was also killed in action while 13 from the military were injured.
The number of civilians who have left the area has increased, as they fear getting caught in the middle.
Among the affected towns in Maguindanao are Sultan Sa Baronggis, Datu Piang, Mamasapano, Rajah Buayan, and Datu Abdullah Sangki. At the same time, some families from the towns of Midsayap and Pikit in North Cotabato have also left their homes, according to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s Humanitarian Emergency Action Responce Team.
In a related development, BIFF spokesman Abu Misrie Mama said that he and his men will not surrender to authorities, saying they are prepared to fight to death for their beliefs.
He also belied the military figures, saying only five BIFF members were killed in the encounters, not 40.