Wednesday, July 5, 2017

6 BIFF men captured

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): 6 BIFF men captured

Elements of the 33rd Infantry “Makabayan” Battalion, led by Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, on Wednesday arrested six Moro militants whose group has pledged allegiance to the ISIS, following a brief firefight in Barangay Mangadeg here, the Army said.

Cabunoc, commander of the 33rd Infantry Battalion, said his group proceeded to Barangay Mangadeg, aided by local and community officials in the hideout of heavily armed members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

As they approached the village at past 5 a.m., they were fired upon by the gunmen. A brief firefight ensued until the gunmen waved a white cloth, signaling surrender.

No casualties were reported on both sides.

Cabunoc said the suspects peacefully yielded after sensing their hideout was surrounded by government forces backed by armored personnel carriers.

During interrogation, the six gunmen, identified as Bastun Baguil, Mulawan Lagala, Agila Yusoph, Muslimin Lumenda, Macalam Salabah, and Delamex Lumnah were turned over to the Datu Paglas local police.

They admitted to Cabunoc that they belonged to the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and that they have pledged allegiance to the ISIS flag.

Cabunoc said the armed men were part of a bigger BIFF group that operates in the marshland of Maguindanao and believed to be behind the series of attacks in the towns in North Cotabato near the wetlands.

Seeized from them were two .50-caliber Barret sniper rifles, an M-60 machine gun, a B-40 anti-tank rocket launcher, an M14 rifle and an M16 rifle.

Cabunoc said the operation against the BIFF was coordinated with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) through the ceasefire panel.

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