MILF hunts ISIS-inspired group in Maguindanao

By on August 26, 2017


For the past two weeks, the MILF had been pursuing the ISIS-flag carrying armed group, led by Esmael Abdulmalik of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao’s second district. (PNA photo)
For the past two weeks, the MILF had been pursuing the ISIS-flag carrying armed group, led by Esmael Abdulmalik of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao’s second district. (PNA photo)

COTABATO CITY— Government forces and Moro rebel group that signed a peace deal with the government have continued to hunt down ISIS-identified armed group in Maguindanao.

Under the 1997 ceasefire agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the latter must help the government get rid of terrorists in communities identified with the MILF in various parts of Mindanao.

For the past two weeks, the MILF had been pursuing the ISIS-flag carrying armed group, led by Esmael Abdulmalik of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao’s second district.

Abdulmalik heads a faction of the BIFF thay pledged allegiance to ISIS.

A military intelligence officer said Abdulmalik, one of the lieutenants of slain Malaysian terrorist and bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, was believed to be injured.

Abu Amir, spokesperson for the Imam Karialan faction of the BIFF, said Abdulmalik was injured in several clashes with the MILF’s Task Force Ittihad (Unity) in remote villages of Datu Salibo, Maguindanao.

Abu Misri Mama, speaking for the Bongos faction of the BIFF, said he has no report about Abdulmalik getting injured but his son, Abu Torayfe, sub-leader leader of the BIFF whose men were identified with ISIS, was reported dead.

Abu Torayfe was killed. He is the son of Commander Esmail Abdulmalik,” Mama said. “We have no report that Abdulmalik was injured.”

Senior Supt. Agustin Tello, Maguindanao police director, said the police have been helping the MILF in locating the BIFF/ISIS group.

The Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade had been providing artillery assistance to the MILF’s Task Force Ittihad and placed its forces on alert to thwart any possible retaliatory or diversionary attacks by Abdulmalik’s men on civilians and “soft targets” in Maguindanao.

More than 50 fighters from both sides have been killed while dozens were hurt in the clashes between former comrades.

It started when the ISIS-flag carrying BIFF tried to encroach an MILF community in Barangays Tee and Andavit in Datu Salibo by setting off improvised bomb that injured 10 MILF fighters.