IS-LINKED GUNMEN KILLED IN MAGUINDANAO CLASH VS. ARMY
CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao — Three members of the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were killed in a 30-minute gunfight with government forces in the marshland of Maguindanao on Wednesday, an Army official said.
Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, commander of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion, said Thursday the “drone-covered firefight also injured an undetermined number of BIFF radicals.”
Cabunoc said the fighting erupted between his unit and the BIFF along the borders of Sultan sa Barongis and Pagalungan towns, both in Maguindanao, at about 7 a.m.
Government troopers standing in waist-deep murky waters fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) toward the location of about 20 BIFF members led by Salahuddin Hasan. The firefight lasted for about 30 minutes.
Cabunoc said drone images showed the BIFF fleeing the site where the Army’s mortars and RPGs landed and exploded.
“At least three were believed killed based on our monitoring of their radio communication sets,” he said.
Cabunoc said the armed men earlier fired at fisherman Mohammad Makmod, who was fishing in Barangay Tugal, forcing 60 families from Sitio Cana to move to safer grounds.
He said local government units of Maguindanao have been requested to immediately extend assistance to the displaced families. (PNA)