Wednesday Apr, 24 2024 11:51:20 AM

Police, Army guarding against Dawlah retaliation

Peace and Order • 17:00 PM Wed Dec 13, 2023
John Felix Unson
INNOCENT PEOPLE DISPLACED. Villagers from barangays in Pagalungan, Maguindanao del Sur that are near the Liguasan Delta and are prone to attacks by the Dawlah Islamiya have evacuated to safe areas. (Photo by John Felix Unson)

COTABATO CITY - Security in Central Mindanao is markedly tight since Monday, after the Dawlah Islamiya lost 23 members from December 1 to 10 in Army offensives and clashes with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. 

The Dawlah Islamiya has a reputation for bombing public places to get even for deaths of members killed in encounters with pursuing police and military forces.

Brig. Gen. Alex Rillera, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, told reporters via Viber on Wednesday that soldiers in roadside detachments in provinces under their jurisdiction are on full alert and foot patrols have been intensified as part of 6th ID’s effort to prevent any retaliatory attack by the group.

“We are not taking chances. Our security preparations are supported by local officials, the MILF and the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front),” Rillera said.

Local government units in Pikit, Cotabato, and in nearby Pagalungan and Montawal in Maguindanao del Sur are presently focused on providing relief support to some 5,000 ethnic Maguindanaon villagers who relocated to safe areas following last weekend’s deadly Dawlah Islamiya-MILF gunfights in dwelling enclaves in the three towns that are near the 220,000-hectare Liguasan Delta.

The beleaguered evacuees fled after Dawlah Islamiya terrorists shot dead a villager, Datuan Dalgan, and his two-year-old son to show rage over the Army’s bombardment on Friday of their locations in the Liguasan Delta that damaged their shelters and killed three companions that barangay officials identified as Saidamen, Gandi, and Tantung.

On Saturday, eight members of the MILF were killed in a gunfight in Pagalungan with Dawlah Islamiya members. Nine terrorists perished in the ensuing exchanges of gunfire.

The spate of hostilities in Pagalungan was preceded by the death of 11 Dawlah Islamiya members in an encounter with patrolling members of units under the Army’s 601st Brigade in Barangay Tuayan in Datu Hoffer in Maguindanao del Sur. 


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