9 BIFF members killed in offensives along Cotabato-Maguindanao border
CAMP SIONGCO, MAGUINDANAO — Nine members of the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have been killed during the ongoing military strikes against rebel positions in the borders of Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces that started July 25.
Army Major Gen. Diosdado Carreon, commander of the 6th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Central (JTC), said the slain militants were killed July 27 in combined air and ground assaults.
Carreon added that their bodies were recovered and identified by local officials of Datu Saydona Mustapha town in Maguindanao and were immediately buried.
The slain bandits were all followers of Abu Toraife (Abdulmalik Esmael), the leader of one of three BIFF factions.
“As of this time, the firefight is still ongoing and we call upon the people to please bear with us, as your JTF Central strives to do its best to defeat the terrorist groups in the area,” Carreon said.
More Army checkpoints have been established at many portions of the highway from Cotabato City to Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, especially passing by the Maguindanao towns of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Salibo, Mamasapano, and Shariff Aguak, which hosts villages that are known BIFF strongholds. /kga
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