25 dead as MILF forces clash with BIFF members | Inquirer News

25 dead as MILF forces clash with BIFF members

/ 07:06 AM August 15, 2017

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 other members of the BIFF that had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) were wounded in the fighting.

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He said the MILF suffered five fatalities in the fighting that erupted Aug. 7 in Barangay Tee and Andavit, both in Datu Salibo town.

At least 10 other MILF members were wounded when an improvised bomb was set off by the BIFF in Barangay Tee. They were brought to Camp Siongco military hospital for treatment.

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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 IS-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. —Edwin O. Fernandez

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TAGS: BIFF, Islamic State, Maguindanao battles, MILF
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