18 BIFF terrorists, four soldiers slain in Maguindanao encounters

Published March 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Nonoy Lacson 

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Eighteen fighters of the Daesh-inspired terrorist group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and four soldiers were killed in a series of encounters in Ampatuan and Hofer towns in Maguindanao that started Monday, officials said Saturday.
Eleven other soldiers were also reported wounded.

Maj. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana, Commander of 6th Infantry Division (6th Infantry Division - Kampilan Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) Commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana
(6th Infantry Division – Kampilan Facebook / FILE / MANILA BULLETIN)

Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) Commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said soldiers retrieved at least five remains of the suspected BIFF men at the encounter site.

The military said the BIFF could have also suffered an undetermined number of wounded fighters due to the trail of blood leading to forested areas of Barangay Salman, a known lair of the BIFF. But the wounded terrorists must have been carried away by their comrades who retreated to the forested areas of Barangay Salman.

Sobejana said air and artillery assets bombarded the terrorists in their lairs in Barangay Salman’s forested areas.

After gaining ground, the military intensified its operations to penetrate the enemy stronghold and neutralize the enemy.

Ground troops were also deployed to conduct combat operations and preempt the reported terror plots of the group
Sobejana said soldiers who penetrated the BIFF encampment sites seized firearms, ammunitions, improvised explosive devices, and war materials.

According to Sobejana, the series of military operations started on March 2, after they received reports from villagers about the presence of BIFF fighters in their areas.

“We nevertheless pursued our campaign to pound down the remaining terrorists, penetrate enemy lairs, and ensure the safety of the people,” Sobejana added.

 
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