From Update Philippines (Sep 5): 2 Killed in Moro Islamic Liberation Front, BIFF clash
Fighting between joint government forces and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and ISIS-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao has continued, the latest of which happened Sunday that left two MILF fighters killed.
The MILF Task Force Ittihad (Unity) clashed over the weekend with BIFF Esmael Abdulmalik faction in Barangay Tee, Datu Salibo, Maguindanao, Capt. Arvin John Encinas told reporters.
Among those reported killed was an operation officer of MILF 118th base command.
Encinas, spokesperson for the 6th Infantry Division, said the Army has been providing blocking positions around the so called “SPMS box” or the adjoining towns of Shariff Aguak, Pagatin (Datu Saudi town), Mamasapano and Datu Salibo.
Fighting between MILF and BIFF has been going on since three weeks ago after the ISIS-inspired group tried to encroach MILF communities in the SPMS box.
Von Al Haq, speaking for the MILF, said his group will continue to defend its areas to prevent the ISIS-inspired armed men from encroaching civilian communities.
Under the 1997 ceasefire agreement between the government and the MILF, the rebel movement is mandated to help the government get rid of terrorists and kidnappers.
Senior Supt. Agustin Tello, Maguindanao police provincial director, said the police have remained on alert alongside the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade and 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade to prevent spillover of clashes between the MILF and BIFF to other Maguindanao towns and in North Cotabato.
More checkpoints have been set up to ensure public safety, he said.