The military reported that 12 Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were killed in military offensives on Sunday and Monday in Maguindanao.
Capt. Arvin John Encinas, spokesperson of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID), said the two-day air and ground assaults in Barangay Malingao, Shariff Saydona town left a dozen BIFF casualties and their remains were recovered by authorities and local officials.
The slain BIFF members were recovered in Sitio Pandan, Sitio Mungkas and Sitio Pandan, all in Barangay Malingao were some 50 BIFF fighters were sighted.
Encinas identified the slain BIFF as Baser Alon, Nurdin Kalun, Kemi Jainudin, Wahed Anuwar, Bensar Ali, Arapat Gemal, Bedo Gamadil, Wari Brahim, Bakar Seral, Tato Menta, and two unidentified rebels.
Nine other militants were injured in the clashes, he added.
“Our troops on the ground are continuously gaining advantage over the BIFF bandits in the SPMS Box for past several days of intensified military operation,” Brig. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana, 6ID commander, said in a statement Tuesday.
The SPMS box refers to the towns of Salibo, Pagatin (Datu Saudi), Mamasapano, and Shariff Aguak, where the BIFF mainly operates.
“Our troops remained on alert,” Encinas said, adding that the BIFF tried to set off improvised bombs along the roads leading to the clash site but Army bomb experts deactivated them Tuesday morning.
He said the death of the 12 militants brought to 35 the total number of BIFF killed so far in ongoing clashes since July 1, which marked the start of the all-out offensive against the terror group in the province. PNA