MILITARY FINDS MORE BIFF WAR MATERIEL IN MAGUINDANAO
Improvised anti-personnel mines found in an abandoned safe house of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Barangay Penditin, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao on Thursday (March 21). (Photo courtesy of 6ID)
SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao — Military troops pursuing the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao have recovered more anti-personnel mines, mortars, rifles, and communication devices from the extremist group.
On Thursday, elements of Army’s 37th Infantry Battalion (IB) said they found an abandoned safe house in Barangay Penditin, Shariff Saydona Mustapha town with three anti-personnel mines at about 7 a.m.
The improvised bombs were kept in the ceiling of the house made of wood and bamboos. A few hours after, troopers belonging to the 34IB clashed with about 20 BIFF members in the same village that lasted for 30 minutes.
The militants splintered into smaller groups and fled after the firefight. In an ensuing clearing operation, 34IB troopers found one Carbine rifle, two anti-personnel mines, and personal belongings of BIFF members.
“The civilians are supporting the government by providing vital intelligence information that led to positive results in our surgical offensives,” said Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division based in Maguindanao.
On March 20, Army personnel also found improvised anti-personnel mines, four live rocket-propelled grenades, two 60-mm. mortar rounds, ammunition, and black powder components inside a BIFF bunker in Barangay Magaslong, Datu Piang town.
“We suspect it could be a bomb-making workshop of the BIFF due to the recovery of huge amount of bomb components,” said Sobejana, also chief of the military-led Joint Task Force Central.
More than 20 BIFF and a soldier have been reported killed in the military offensives that began on March 11.
A total of 11 soldiers were also injured. Sobejana said pursuit of BIFF remnants will continue so long as the threat from the terror group remains in Central Mindanao.