BIFF attacks Army, PNP posts in Maguindanao
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – As if taunting the military, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) launched, on Sunday night, a series of rifle-grenade and mortar attacks on Army and police positions in Maguindanao.
“Our attacks were meant to show we are alive and kicking,” Abu Misri Mama, speaking for the BIFF, said of the attacks in the towns of Shariff Aguak, Datu Hofer and Datu Salibo.
Senior Supt. Rodelio Jocson, Maguindanao police director, said the BIFF first fired two rifle grenades at a detachment of the PNP Special Action Force at the back of Maguindanao police provincial office in Camp Datu Akilan Ampatuan at 6:30 p.m.
Policemen at the checkpoint fired back, forcing the attackers to flee.
About 20 minutes later, the BIFF fired six 60-mm mortar rounds toward the 43rd Special Action Company detachment near the Maguindanao provincial Hospital in Datu Hofer town.
The attackers fled under cover of darkness.
At about 7 p.m., the BIFF also harassed the detachment of 2nd Mechanized Battalion stationed in Datu Salibo town with rifle grenades. It was the same detachment that the BIFF harassed last week and where the rebels wounded six soldiers.
No one was hurt in Sunday’s attacks.
Mama told the Inquirer more attacks would be carried out by his group until the military leaves the area.
“Our tactic is hit and run, there will be more like that,” he said to disprove the Army’s claim that the BIFF had become a spent force following the death of more than 100 of its men and the demise of its founding chair Ameril Umra Kato.
On Saturday night, bombings were carried out by suspected BIFF men in Cotabato City and nearby town of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.
Firstly, two men riding tandem on a motorbike tossed a hand grenade at a police detachment in Barangay Tamontaka, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, at 7 p.m.
The same suspects hurled a grenade toward a military vehicle on patrol along Sinsuat Avenue, Cotabato City but missed their target.
Col. Ranulfo Sevilla, Army Special Forces Battalion commander, said the grenade blast wounded a certain Dalmacio Villa.
Sevilla said government forces failed to catch the attackers due to the traffic and the presence of civilians.
Minutes later, two men left an improvised bomb in a can in front of Special Forces detachment along Notre Dame Avenue. The IED, fashioned from 60 mm mortar, was later defused by bomb experts.
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