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MILF report on Mamasapano clash: Lack of coordination caused the problem

/ 09:11 PM March 23, 2015

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has submitted its 35-page investigation report to the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT).

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone Monday that their report was submitted to the IMT on Sunday.

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The IMT will furnish their counterpart in the government a copy of the investigative report on the Jan. 25 fighting in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, that left 44 police commandos, 17 rebels and five civilians dead.

Ghazali Jaafar, MILF first vice chair for political affairs, said one of the findings was that lack of coordination, as should have been done under the ceasefire mechanism, caused the problem.

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Jaafar also said some of the slain police commandos “were used as shields by their comrades at the height of the fighting.”

Jaafar added that the MILF report cited that the shooter in the video of a man finishing off an already wounded SAF commando, “is not a member of the MILF.”

Von Al Haq, chief of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, earlier told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that part of the findings explained why some of the 44 slain Special Action Force members sustained close range gunshot wounds because they were used as shields by their comrades.

“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.

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

Al Haq described the acts caught on 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.

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

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TAGS: bloodshed, carnage, clash, covert operations, Encounter, fact finding, Ghazali Jaafar, gun battle, inquiry, International Monitoring Team, investigation, Malaysia, Mamasapano debacle, Mamasapano massacre, Mamasapano mission, Massacre, massacre of policemen, Mohagher Iqbal, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, News, Philippine National Police, Special Action Force
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