3 more MILF hurt as clash with BIFF continues in Maguindanao

By , on August 21, 2017


FILE PHOTO/ Maguindanao (PNA photo)
FILE PHOTO/ Maguindanao (PNA photo)

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao — Three more Moro guerillas fighting the ISIS inspired group in Maguindanao were injured, raising to 13 the number of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members wounded in clashes with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Hurt in the clashes in Barangay Andavit Datu Salibo, Maguindanao were identified as Misuari Mohammadi, 20; Mohidin Ahmad, 28; and Tarik Sabpa, 26. They are now confined in a military hospital here.

MILF fighters also recovered 11 improvised bombs left by fleeing BIFF fighters. The MILF said five BIFF members were killed in the firefight.

Since MILF-BIFF fighting erupted on August 10, a total of 20 MILF and 26 BIFF were killed. Thirteen MILF and 10 BIFF were also injured.

It started when the BIFF, led by Esmael Abdulmalik, former henchman of Malaysian bomb expert Zulkiflibin Hir, alias “Marwan,” set off an improvised bomb in Barangay Tee, Datu Salibo, Maguindanao that injured 10 MILF, all members of the Task Force Ittihad (Unity).

Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, director of the Police Regional Office-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said on Monday that the MILF’s operation against the group of Abdulmalik was coordinated with the municipal police offices in Maguindanao.

The injured MILF members were under Commander Haon, an MILF sub-leader. Commander Haon and his men were going to Barangay Andavit to check on reported sightings of 20 followers of Abdulmalik preparing improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

As Haon’s team arrived, they were fired upon by BIFF members, triggering a three-hour sporadic firefight.

The recovered IEDs, according to Sindac, were handed over by the MILF to the Maguindanao police provincial office in Shariff Aguak town.

Police and military forces in Maguindanao have put up more checkpoints along the national highway and civilian communities to prevent any attempt by the BIFF to launch diversionary attacks in Maguindanao’s second district.

Sindac said among the BIFF fatalities was a certain Hamdi, son of Abdulmalik. (PNA)