Army troops clash with BIFF in Maguindanao
CAMP SIONGCO, MAGUINDANAO – Elements of the 40th Infantry Battalion in Maguindanao clashed with members of the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in a 10-minute firefight that broke out at 4:35 a.m. Tuesday in Barangay Inaladan, Shariff Saydona town, the Army here said.
Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, the commander of the 6th Infantry Division, said the soldiers found four rifles and components of improvised bombs at the clash site.
He could not say if the rebels suffered casualties since no dead body was found. But villagers told the Army that at least four BIFF members were killed and were carried away by their fleeing companions.
Earlier, Sobejana said residents had alerted the soldiers on what they saw on Monday night roaming the village with “anti-personnel mines.”
“The information provided by the populace prevented the BIFF’s plot to sow terror in urban centers,” Sobejana said in a statement.
It was the fourth time the Army prevented the transport of improvised explosive devices in Maguindanao following the pre-New Year bombing in front of a mall in Cotabato City.
Soldiers foiled the transport of bombs in Sultan sa Barongis and Raja Buayan towns in Maguindanao, Midsayap, North Cotabato and in the borders of Cotabato City and Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.
Soldiers and police have been on heightened alert ahead of the January 21 plebiscite on Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law./lzb
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