Tue. Jun 22nd, 2021
(photo courtesy: http://www.pna.gov.ph)

Ongoing pursuit operations in the province against Islamic State-linked gunmen led to the neutralization of five members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Buluan town, police and military authorities said Wednesday.

Lt. Cemafranco Cemacio, Buluan police chief, said the five BIFF combatants were slain in a clash with the military on Tuesday night in Sitio Linek, Barangay Digal of Buluan in Maguindanao.

Initial investigation showed that about 40 BIFF members were seen passing by Sitio Linek at about 11 p.m. A brief encounter ensued, leaving five BIFF dead, Cemacio said.

“They were seen planting improvised bombs so a firefight erupted after they were sighted by elements of the 90th Infantry Battalion (90IB),” Cemacio said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade, said the slain BIFF were part of a group of gunmen who occupied the town public market of Buluan, Maguindanao on May 8.

“The BIFF faction in Datu Paglas had splintered to small groups but 90IB troopers chanced upon them in Digal village,” Galido said in a separate interview here.

Soldiers under the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade were deployed in the village of Digal, Buluan, Maguindanao, as a blocking force following the May 8 atrocities in Datu Paglas.

Galido said the bodies of the slain extremists were turned over to the police in Buluan.

The clash occurred barely a day after President Rodrigo Duterte urged local officials to help him find a solution to put an end to the terrorism by the BIFF.

Duterte, in a visit at the Army’s 6th Infantry Division headquarters on Tuesday, said he would give local officials enough time to help him solve the problem of violence in Maguindanao and the entire Bangsamoro Region through peaceful means. SOVEREIGNPH

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