Airstrikes in Maguindanao-Cotabato border kill woman
CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao—A woman was killed while her husband and grandson were wounded as the military launched air and ground assaults on an area held by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) rebels in the border of Maguindanao and Cotabato provinces on Thursday.
Nearly a hundred families living near and around the affected villages have fled to safer grounds following the clashes, officials said.
The airstrikes were launched by the Philippine Air Force at 3:30 a.m. while a group of gunmen, said to be led by Abu Toraife of a faction of the BIFF, was gathering at Barangay Kabasalan in Pikit, Cotabato, said Army Maj. Homer Estolas, 6th Infantry Division spokesperson.
A house at Sitio Butilen in Barangay Kabasalan was hit, killing Misbah Masla. Authorities described her only as a “senior citizen.”
Masla’s husband, Ali, and their 10-year-old grandson, Edwin, were wounded.
Brig. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, commander of the 602nd Army Brigade, said the operation was meant to stop the manufacture of bombs and to destroy bomb-making facilities of the BIFF in the area. —EDWIN FERNANDEZ AND TAHER SOLAIMAN
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