Wednesday, June 13, 2018

4 BIFF men, 2 civilians killed in Maguindanao skirmishes

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 13): 4 BIFF men, 2 civilians killed in Maguindanao skirmishes

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao--Four members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were killed in a clash with elements of the Army 57th Infantry Battalion (IB) following harassment incidents on military detachments Monday night in the province.

Capt. Arvin John Encinas, Army’s 6th Infantry Division spokesman, said the harassment was a clear retaliatory attack against military installations in Maguindanao following an aerial bombing run in the past two days in suspected BIFF positions in the vast Liguasan Marsh bordering the towns of Pagalungan and Gen. Salipada K. Pendatun.

Soldiers manning detachments of the 57th IB in the adjoining towns of Datu Unsay and Datu Hoffer in Maguindanao traded shots with undetermined number of BIFF at past 8 p.m. Monday.

Encinas said the BIFF first attacked the 5th IB in Barangay Meta, Datu Unsay, triggering an hour-long firefight. “We could not say if the attackers suffered fatalities or injuries but there was no casualty on the government side,” he said.

While firefight was going on in Barangay Meta, another band of BIFF harassed another 57th IB detachment manned by militiamen in Barangay Limpongo, Datu Hofer.

Military reports said four BIFF fighters were killed in the clash, while two civilians were executed by the armed group.

The BIFF casualties were identified as Turman Aber and Mansor Mohammad while the cadaver of a certain Mamalu and another unidentified militant were carried away by their fleeing comrades.

The civilians, whose identities were not immediately known as of posting, were on board a motorbike fleeing the village of Limpongo when gunned down BIFF elements.  They were rushed by responding soldiers to Maguindanao provincial hospital but were both declared dead on arrival.

Abu Misry Mama, speaking for the BIFF, admitted it was his group that harassed the Army bases and admitted that only two and not four, as reported by the military, were killed in the Limpongo incident.

Encinas said all Army units surrounding the Maguindanao marshland have been placed on heightened alert in anticipation for future BIFF retaliatory attacks.

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