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20 BIFF men killed in weeklong clashes with MILF fighters

/ 02:38 PM August 14, 2017

Members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. AFP FILE PHOTO

COTABATO CITY – At least 20 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have been killed in the weeklong fighting with Moro Islamic Liberation Front ((MILF) forces in Maguindanao.

Col. Gerry Besana, 6th Civil Military Operations chief of the 6th Infantry Division, said at least 15 others were wounded in the local armed group that pledge allegiance to the Islamic State.

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He said the MILF suffered five dead in the fighting that erupted on August 7 in Barangay Tee and Andavit, both of Datu Salibo town.

At least 10 other MILF members were wounded when an improvised bomb was set off by the BIFF in Barangay Tee.

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The wounded MILF fighters were brought to Camp Siongco military hospital for medical treatment.

The Army based the casualty report on the GPH-MILF ceasefire monitoring units in Maguindanao.

Besana said the fighting erupted when the BIFF men tried to enter an MILF-controlled area in neighboring Datu Saydona town last week. The Army has been providing artillery support to the MILF against the ISIS-inspired group.

As fighting rages, civilians fled to safer grounds. They are being attended to by local disaster offices in the affected towns of Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Datu Piang.

Abu Misri Mama, speaking for a faction of the BIFF, said the fighting has been affecting civilians who have been displaced by what he described as “nonsense armed struggle.”

“It is not correct when Muslim mujahiddens (freedom fighters) fight each other,” he said.

An MILF official who asked not to be named said a “rido” (clan war) is now in effect between the BIFF and MILF.

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, biff, Islamic State, MILF, Moro Islamic Liberation Front
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