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MILF completes report on Mamasapano clash

... Rebels who violated war code face Shariah law penalty; surviving SAF men used dead commandos as shields
/ 10:39 PM March 19, 2015
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Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. AP FILE PHOTO

COTABATO CITY, Philippines—The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has finished its investigation on the Mamasapano fighting that left 44 police commandos dead, with a recommendation to punish their members who were involved in the encounter.

Von Al Haq, chief of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone that the probe’s executive summary was ready for MILF chair Ebrahim Murad’s signature.  Afterwards, the MILF will submit it to the International Monitoring Team led by Malaysia.

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Al Haq said the findings would explain why some of the 44 slain Special Action Force members sustained close range gunshot wounds:  they were used by their comrades as shields at the height of the fighting on January 25 in Tukanalipao, Mamasapano town in Maguindanao.

“Our findings indicated that we did not fire the first shot. We even lost two fighters when SAF members opened fire at them while crossing the bridge,” he said.

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Al Haq also said their report stated that the triggerman in the video that went viral on the internet, which showed a wounded policeman being shot at close range, was not their member.

Al Haq described the video as against their regulation and Islamic Law.

He said their members who were involved in the encounter would be punished based on their violations of the MILF’s BIAF code of conduct and in accordance with the Shariah Law.

The MILF also stated in their report that they suffered only 17, not 18 fatalities.

Al Haq refused to give further details of their findings.

Aside from 44 policemen and 17 rebels dead, five civilians were also killed in the gun battle that stalled Congress’ deliberation on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which would give an expanded autonomy to areas dominated by the MILF.

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TAGS: bloodshed, carnage, clash, covert operations, Encounter, fact finding, gun battle, inquiry, investigation, Mamasapano debacle, Mamasapano massacre, Mamasapano mission, Massacre, massacre of policemen, MILF, News, Philippine National Police, Special Action Force
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