A member of outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) was killed in a brief encounter with government forces in Datu Piang, Maguindanao Wednesday, the Army and residents here said.
Quoting reports from 2nd Mechanized Brigade, Capt. Joan Petinglay, speaking for the 6th Infantry Division, said the clash erupted at 6 a.m. Wednesday in Barangay Mayanis when about 20 BIFF members fired at elements of the 2nd Mechanized Battalion of the 2nd Mechanized brigade under Colonel Lemet conducting patrol activities near a school.
After 30 minutes, the gunmen fled to different directions but government forces recovered several live ammunition 60 mm mortars used by BIFF in manufacturing improvised explosive devices.
The Army halted the manhunt on fleeing guerillas to allow civilians to get out of the way.
Residents said they are worried government forces will arrive and resume operations against the outlawed BIFF after reports that many of them have been charged in connection with the January Mamasapano encounter.
But Petinglay said the soldiers were not serving warrants of arrest since it was not their job. The soldiers were patrolling the village while securing a school compound nearby when attacked.
Datu Piang Mayor Genuine Kamaong, quoting reports from village officials, said the civilians have returned home although may are ready to move out should shooting war resumes.