10 BIFF rebels killed in Mamasapano clash

Published November 14, 2019, 12:27 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Aaron Recuenco 

Joint police and military operatives killed 10 suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in a fierce clash in Ma­masapano, Maguindanao, a military of­ficial said Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, com­manding general of the Western Min­danao Command, said the gun battle also resulted in the death of a soldier and the wounding of two government troop­ers.

Sobejana said the gunfight started when members of the 33rd Infantry Battal­ion and the police’s 4th Special Action Company chanced upon a group of BIFF armed men in Ba­rangay Tukanalipao.

A fierce clash oc­curred as the BIFF fighters stood their ground.

The government forces were sup­ported by artillery fires and air strikes at the height of the gun battle.

“These forced the bandits to withdraw and escape, bringing along their casual­ties with them,” said Sobejana.

Battle casual­ties were extracted from the encounter site and evacuated to Camp Siongco Station Hospital in Cotabato City for im­mediate medical at­tention, according to Sobejana.

Additional gov­ernment troops were sent to the area for pursuit operations.

The BIFF is a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) triggered by the decision of the MILF to sign a peace deal with the gov­ernment during the previous adminis­tration.