Hunt on for BIFF attackers in Maguindanao town

Military and police troops are in pursuit of suspected Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) terrorists who attacked the town proper of Datu Piang shortly before midnight Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, said they have secured the municipality after receiving calls for assistance from local officials around 11:30 p.m.

“We immediately responded after learning that they are only a bunch of policemen assigned to the municipal police office,” Uy, concurrent chief of the military-led Joint Task Force Central, told reporters in an interview Friday.

“We have controlled the situation,” he added.

He said military troops engaged the terrorists who withdrew later using the darkness of the night as cover.

He said the attackers shot houses and burned a police car but clarified that the Santa Catalina Church in Poblacion was not burned as mentioned in initial reports.

“They just burned a police car,” he said.

Uy said report reaching them identified the attackers as those under the BIFF Karialan faction, a radical group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Datu Piang town, which is situated in Maguindanao’s second district, had Dulawan for its old name. PNA.GOV.PH