Sunday, January 28, 2018

BIFF militant killed in clash with soldiers in Maguindanao

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jan 26): BIFF militant killed in clash with soldiers in Maguindanao
CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Soldiers and Islamic State-inspired militants based in Maguindanao clashed anew on Friday in Rajah Buayan town, the military said.

In a report, the 6th Infantry Division based here said one Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) gunman was killed in the clash that took place at 3 a.m.

The report said the clash occurred when elements of the 40th Infantry Battalion intercepted the group of pro-IS BIFF leader Esmael Abdulmalik alias Abu Toraife, which was moving out of Rajah Buayan to Mamasapano town.

The remains of the slain BIFF member had already been turned over to village officials for immediate burial. No casualty was reported on the government side.

The military has been battling the Toraife group, which had attacked Teduray communities in the province starting December 25.

The group allegedly wanted the Maguindanao lumads out of Mt. Firis, where BIFF founder Ameril Umra Kato had declared he was leaving the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2008.

Toraife was identified by the military as an extremist, who also wanted to put up an Islamic wilaya or province in Maguindanao.

He was said to have foreign fighters under his command.

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