Army captures BIFF camp, seizes war materials
COTABATO CITY – The military here announced finding a Moro rebel camp and war materials after a brief firefight with Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao on Sunday.
Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said in a statement that joint elements of the 40th Infantry Battalion, 61stReconnaissance Company, and 10th Special Forces Company discovered the BIFF encampment on Sunday.
The military reported five BIFF members and two soldiers injured in the 20-minute gunfight.
The camp in Sitio Mungkas, Barangay Malingao had foxholes that could accommodate 25 persons.
Soldiers also found medicine and dextrose containers in the foxholes along with eight cal. 38 revolvers, a shotgun, an Uzi submachine gun, first aid kits, unexploded ordnance, one anti-personnel mine and magazines for M-16 and M-14 rifles.
“The terrorists are on the run and their capability to sow terror is certainly reduced,” Sobejana said. “We will continue to go after the bandits to put an end to the menace of terrorism.”
Soldiers were in the area as part of surgical operations against lawless elements in four adjoining towns of Maguindanao.
The “surgical” military operation were concentrated in the towns of Shariff Aguak, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Shariff Saydona and Mamasapano, the area of operation of the BIFF under Abu Toraife.
Toraife and his group were believed to be behind the bombing of the roadside eatery Carlito’s Chicken House in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat on April 3 that left 18 persons injured.
Sobejana appealed to the public to remain vigilant for possible retaliatory or diversionary attacks by the BIFF to avenge the death of their companions.
Earlier, the military reported at least 11 BIFF members killed and five soldiers injured since April 3 when skirmishes started.
Among those reported killed in the April 3 encounter, was BIFF member Ali Abdulmalik, a bomb maker and brother of Abu Toraife, BIFF leader who pledged allegiance to ISIS.
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