Military bombs BIFF with JI senior leader in Maguindanao

Mindanao Armed Conflict  • Tue Mar 14, 2017 01:09 PM  •  121   0
By Ferdinandh Cabrera
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Government soldiers in armored tank proceeds to Barangay Gawang, Datu Salibo, Maguindanao to push for offensives vs. BIFF Monday, March 13, 2017. (FC)
Government soldiers in armored tank proceeds to Barangay Gawang, Datu Salibo, Maguindanao to push for offensives vs. BIFF Monday, March 13, 2017. (FC)
DATU SALIBO, Maguindanao  – The military’s 6th Infantry Division on Monday launched aerial and ground attacks against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Maguindanao after a senior leader of Jemaah Islamiyah was sighted with the group.  

Colonel Diosdado Carreon, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade, said the target of law enforcement operation was the BIFF under Commander Bongos who was confirmed to have been protecting Mohammad Ali, alias “Mauwiyah,” a Singaporean member of Jemaah Islamiya.
  He has been training BIFF in bomb making, Carreon said.  

On Monday dawn, two FA50 fighter jets dropped bombs in the villages of Gawang and Andavit in Datu Salibo town.

Minutes after bombs were dropped, two MG-520 attack helicopters provided air support to ground troops that entered the villages.  

Four improvised explosive devices (IEDS) met them in a road leading to the target area.  It took several hours before the troops maneuvered toward the village as bomb experts defused one IED and forced to explode three others.
 

“There’s no letup in our operation, our mission is to neutralize the group who has been threatening our people,” Carreon said in Filipino.  

Citing intelligence information, Carreon said Mauwiyah has been training BIFF members in bomb making and other terrorist activities.  

Carreon said before Monday’s offensive that is still continuing today, the BIFF had been harassing government forces in Datu Salibo and Shariff Aguak.  In fact, he said, two soldiers were hurt in bomb attacks by the lawless group.
 

“We could not say how many BIFF fighters were killed or injured, we are still evaluating the situation,” Carreon said.  

At least 200 families from Andavit and Gawang and in nearby areas have fled to safer grounds. (Ferdinandh Cabrera)
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