MILF fighters arrest 3 BIFF men

By , on August 30, 2017


FILE PHOTO: A shirt recovered by the AFP from Maguindanao says "BIFF of the MILF," referring to two revolutionary groups: the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). (screenshot from GMA News footage)
FILE PHOTO: A shirt recovered by the AFP from Maguindanao says “BIFF of the MILF,” referring to two revolutionary groups: the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). (screenshot from GMA News footage)

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao — Three more members of ISIS-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were arrested by Moro rebel group in Maguindanao as manhunt against local jihadists has continued.

The three were arrested while trying to slip past members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in a river at sitio Butalo, Barangay Sambulawan, Datu Salibo, Maguindanao on Tuesday afternoon, according to Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, police regional director for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).

They were on board a wooden-hulled banca posing as fishermen when the MILF Task Force Ittihad (Unity) members noticed firearms covered with black cloth beside them.

When checked, the MILF, which signed a peace agreement with the government and obliged to get rid of terrorists in Mindanao, found several firearms.

Sr. Supt. Agustin Tello, Maguindanao police director, identified the arrested BIFF members as Mahmod Alimudin, 43, Oting Kaligan, 27 and Akmad Jacaria, 18, all residents of Barangay Sambulawan.

They are reportedly followers of Commander Abu Toraype, a BIFF sub-leader, who pledge allegiance to ISIS.

More than 50 peple have been killed in the on-going Army-backed MILF pursuit operations against the BIFF.

Fighting between former comrades erupted in mid-August when the local terrorists encroached MILF identified communities in Datu Salibo.

Al Haj Murad, MILF chair, said the MILF, in keeping with the 1997 ceasefire agreement with the government, will continue to prevent BIFF from influencing MILF members and sympathizers.

The three will be turned over to the Maguindanao police for filing of appropriate charges.

It can be recalled that 10 MILF fighters were hurt when the BIFF set off an improvised bomb and are being treated in a military hospital inside Camp Siongco, Maguindanao.

Earlier, Lt. Colonel Gerry Besana, chief of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division’s Civil Military Operations, said the Army banned civilians to use water transportation in the marshland to avoid getting caught in the crossfire.

Ustadz Esmael Abdulmalik, leader of a faction of the BIFF, was injured during the firefight, according to spokesmen of two other factions.

More police and military detachments have been established in Maguindanao to prevent the BIFF from carrying out diversionary and sympathy attacks after Abu Toraype was killed in a clash with the MILF last week. (PNA)