By Ali Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – The Army-led Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) on Sunday announced another feat in its surgical offensives on extremist combatants of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the hinterlands of Shariff Saydona Mustapha (SSM) town Maguindanao.
Combined troops of the JTFC recovered three cadavers and guns of combatants under the Bungos faction of the BIFF after engaging the enemies in fierce fight at Barangay Pusao of SSM town on Nov. 26, said a statement from the Western Mindanao Command (WMC), which has jurisdiction over the task force operations.
The statement said Barangay Pusao officials led by Kagawad Abo Kalim positively identified the cadavers as those of BIFF combatants and facilitated the proper burial of the fatalities.
After the trade of bullets, troops from the 33rd Infantry Battalion, the 12th Special Forces Company and 5th Special Forces Battalion reportedly recovered one 5.56 mm K2 assault rifle and one Caliber 45 pistol from the slain enemies.
Hours earlier, the WMC statement said, troops of the 57th Infantry Battalion conducted combat clearing operation in Barangay Pamalian, also in SSM town, and recovered three M16 rifles, three Improvised Explosive Devices, and six improvised hand grenades.
The WMC has posted a photo of the recovered war materials, saying the combined JTFC troops continued to scour the area of remaining enemies.
“These recoveries connote operational success while our troops on the ground build up focused military operations to hunt and pound the remaining terrorists in Central Mindanao,” said Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, WMC said.
“Rest assured that Western Mindanao Command remains committed to provide a safe and secured environment to all communities under our area of operation,” Lt. Gen. Sobejana added in the WMC statement.