3 Usman relatives killed in government offensive vs BIFF
MANILA, Philippines—Three relatives of Filipino bomb maker Basit Usman were killed in a series of clashes between the military and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Maguindanao on Wednesday, the military said.
Armed Forces spokesperson Joselito Kakilala said on Thursday at Camp Aguinaldo that two of the fatalities were Usman’s nephews: Rene Masabpi and Kumidi Simeon.
Another unidentified relative of Usman was killed in Brgy. Pamalian in Shariff Saydona Mustapha.
The three were said to be buried by BIFF rebels in sitio Ilang, Brgy. Tina in Shariff Aguak.
“May leads na tayo, may footprints na tayo kay (We have leads already, we have footprints of) Basit Usman usually knowing his character. Security nya ay yung relatives nya (His relatives are his security),” Kakilala said.
He also cited that soldiers from Marine Battalion Landing Team 8 spotted 20 casualties either dead or wounded during the series of clashes.
Kakilala said operations continue in the SPMS box — Salbu, Pagatin, Mamasapano and Shariff Aguak.
The military is doing an all-out offensive against the BIFF in Maguindanao following the clashes between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the BIFF that started last month.
It is also hunting down Usman, who escaped a police operation that killed top terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan in Mamasapano in Maguindanao last January 25.
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