Monday, April 8, 2019

Soldier hurt as ‘surgical ops’ vs. BIFF continue

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 8, 2019): Soldier hurt as ‘surgical ops’ vs. BIFF continue

Bomb-making devices and components recovered by the military in a BIFF abandoned hideout in Maguindanao on Sunday (April 7). (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

A soldier was hurt as intermittent clashes between government forces and the Islamic State-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) continued over the weekend in Maguindanao province.

In a radio interview, Maj. John Encinas, Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID) spokesperson, said a soldier was injured during clashes at 5 p.m. Sunday in Barangay Pamalian, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao, raising government injured infantrymen to three.

Encinas did not identify the wounded soldier.

“Our troops were conducting clearing operations when they briefly clashed with about 20 BIFF,” Encinas said, adding that he could not say how many BIFFs were killed or injured in Sunday’s encounter.

On April 3, four BIFF members were killed and two soldiers were wounded during military operations in the so-called SPMS Box (referring to the adjoining towns of Shariff Aguak, Pagatin (Datu Saudi Ampatuan), Mamasapano and Shariff Saydona Mustapha).

The military has been running after the group of Abu Toraife, said to be most radical among BIFF factions operating in Maguindanao.

As of Monday, the Army has recovered one .50-caliber sniper rifle from a BIFF abandoned lair, together with several assault rifle assemblies, anti-personnel mines, and bomb components.

Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Army’s 6th ID commander, said that "surgical operations" against the BIFF will continue to prevent the group from perpetrating bomb attacks in Central Mindanao.

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