Army overruns terror camp in Maguindanao, finds bombs ready for deployment
SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao——Government forces overran on Wednesday (Feb. 26) a camp of renegade Moro rebels allied with Islamic State in Maguindanao province.
Soldiers of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion were conducting law enforcement operations against Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), an IS ally, in several towns of Maguindanao when they discovered the terrorist camp. The BIFF is composed of former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front who went rogue after refusing to accept the MILF peace agreement with the government.
The soldiers found the hideout in the borders of three towns—Datu Salibo, Mamasapano and Shariff Saydona Mustapha. Mamasapano was infamous as the site of the massacre of 44 Special Action Force policemen during an operation to get international terrorist Marwan.
The camp was empty but soldiers found homemade bombs, hand grenades and bomb-making components like gunpowder, nails, metals, switch board, electrical wiring, ammonium nitrate and bomb-making instructions.
Lt. Col. Edwin R. Alburo, 57IB commanding officer, said a well-coordinated operation led to the recovery of explosives and eventually foiled bombing plots by the BIFF.
Army officials said the homemade bombs appeared ready for deployment.
Prior to the recovery of explosives, Alburo said the military has been trying to locate the terror camp through intelligence operations.
Col. Jose H. Narciso, 601st Infantry Brigade commander, lauded the team that found the camp and vowed “there will be no letup in the manhunt for terrorists and those who sow fear through violent extremism.”
While the Army was open to the surrender of terror suspects who would return to the folds of the law, Narciso said government troops were also ready to use their firepower to ensure public safety.
Edited by TSB
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