By Zea Capistrano
DAVAO CITY — A military official on Tuesday confirmed that a soldier was killed, while six others, including five soldiers, were wounded in separate clashes with Islamic State (IS)-inspired militants in Maguindanao.
Capt. Arvin Encinas, spokesperson of the Army’s Sixth Infantry Division (6th ID), disclosed that a government trooper was killed in action (KIA) in an encounter with IS-inspired militants believed to be members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Barangay Pusaw in Shariff Saydona Mustapha town on July 2.
Encinas told The Manila Bulletin that five soldiers and a member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) were also wounded in separate clashes with the Daesh-inspired group. Government troops under the 33rd Infantry Battalion clashed with the rebels in Barangay Pusaw and Barangay Pamalian in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town.
Encinas said these areas were now under government control, and are now being cleared to make way for the return of hundreds of families which fled due to the fighting.
Mapayapa na yung lugar around 3:00 pm. Wala nang presence ng BIFF (The area is already peaceful around 3:00 pm),” Encinas said.
He said they have no actual count of casualties on the part of the BIFF. But citing intelligence unit reports, Encinas said four died from the BIFF.
The clashes in Maguindanao resulted to the evacuation of around 500 individuals starting Tuesday dawn.