BIFF leader ‘Motorola’ killed in Maguindanao clash
DAVAO CITY — Government security forces killed a senior leader of the pro-Islamic State armed group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) on Sunday during a clash in Maguindanao province, a military official confirmed.
Zukarno Guilil, also known as “Motorola,” the division commander and chief of staff of BIFF, was killed in a firefight with soldiers in the village of Ganta, Shariff Saydona Mustapha town of Maguindanao, said Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of 6th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.
“The clash erupted when troops cornered the group of Guilil at Barangay Ganta,” Uy said, adding that the armed group’s presence had been tipped off by residents in the area.
Soldiers later recovered two fragmentation grenades in the possession of Guilil, he said.
Blamed for attacks
“As part of the marching order of President Duterte, we are dedicated to putting an end to these terror groups,” Uy said.
He called on Guilil’s followers to return to the fold of the law and live peaceful lives with their families.
Guilil, a known bomb expert, was responsible for various attacks and bombings in Maguindanao and had several standing warrants of arrests, which include murder, multiple attempted murder, destructive arson and violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
“The neutralization of ‘alias Motorola’ gives justice to all victims of BIFF atrocities,” said Col. Pedro Balisi Jr., commander of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Brigade.
BIFF, which splintered from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and had declared support for the extremist Islamic State, has been blamed for the series of attacks in the past in the province.
In December last year, BIFF gunmen torched a police car in Datu Piang town, causing panic among residents. The militants were thwarted after a brief exchange of gunfire with the police.
In January, BIFF militants carried out two roadside bombings in the south that killed three and injured scores of people. In 2019, the group carried out a series of bomb attacks in the south targeting a market and a restaurant that injured more than two dozen people. —JEOFFREY MAITEM
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