Army finds abandoned BIFF camp in Maguindanao
DATU PIANG, MAGUINDANAO — The military on Wednesday announced the discovery of an abandoned camp of Islamic State-linked gunmen in Maguindanao who had been on the run due to massive and sustained military operations against them.
In a statement, Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, said the camp was found on Tuesday by members of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion and 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion at Barangay Magaslong in Datu Piang town, Maguindanao.
The camp has running trenches, foxholes and sniper bunkers that can accommodate 20 people.
Soldiers recovered a rifle telescope, an antenna, assorted empty shells, wires and nails, a solar panel with battery, a passport, medical supplies, antipersonnel mines components, a cell phone, identification cards and assorted papers.
“This is not a victory announcement, but a significant progress in the fight against the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) and the Daesh-inspired group,” Sobejana said.
“We do not want to give them the opportunity to gather and create fear in the community, but instead we will sustain our military operation to end this amok in the society,” he said.
More than 20 BIFF members had been reported killed during the operations that involved the military’s air and ground assets in Maguindanao.
The operation also displaced 30,000 people from seven towns.
Abu Misry Mama, speaking for the BIFF faction, dismissed the Army claim as “propaganda.”
“It was a house, an ordinary house and the Army dug [it] up to make a foxhole. [They] issued a press release to show it was a BIFF camp,” Mama said of the alleged camp.
“We are mobile, we don’t stay in one area because we know the military capability, we are guerrilla fighters,” he added. —EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ
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