From InterAksyon (Mar 29): BIFF commander Abesali killed, Karialan's son wounded in clash with soldiers in Maguindanao
BIFF commander Kagi Karialan, chief of staff of the BIFF, lectures to ground troops, with a black, ISIS-like flag beside him. The military said a son of Karialan was among those wounded in pitched fighting with government troops on Sunday afternoon, in a clash that also killed a BIFF leader, Yusof Abesali alias Bisaya. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Heavy fighting Sunday between government troops and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters ended with three fatalities for the BIFF, among them a commander; and four wounded, including the son of another ranking leader, the military said.
Reports reaching Manila said Sunday afternoon’s firefight in Sitio Nanas, Barangay Pamaluan, Shariff Saydona, Maguindanao also claimed the lives of three soldiers, with three others wounded.
The first firefight occurred around 3 p.m. in Barangay Malangob, Datu Unsay town and the second one was in Barangay Pamalian, according to Colonel Melquiades Feliciano, commander of the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade.
The clash in Pamalian involved the group of BIFF commander Kagi Karialan and fellow commander Yusof Abesali alias Bisaya.
Abesali was among the terrorists killed, said the military; while a son of Karialan was wounded.
An intelligence officer who requested anonymity told InterAksyon.com that between them, Karialan and Abesali had over 70 fully armed terrorists. "Our troops encountered them, resulting in three terrorists killed; one of them was identified as Commander Yusof Abesali alias Bisaya. Four others were wounded and one of them was identified as a son of Karialan.”
The government forces on the ground “are certain” the dead leader was Abesali, added the source.
Sunday is the last day of a 3-day suspension of military operations (SOMO) declared by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to allow the safe graduation rites in areas affected by fighting in Maguindanao.
The Army’s 6th Infantry Division will resume Monday its all-out offensive against the BIFF, which the military claims is coddling Filipino bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman.
Usman, who reportedly escaped when Special Action Force men came to get him and Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan last January 25, was said to have fled along with 5 “foreign-looking” terrorists with the BIFF's help; one of the five was Malaysian Amin Baco alias Jihad.
Usman and Baco eluded the police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, and 44 of the SAF men were killed by the BIFF and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the 10-hour gunfight.