7 BIFF men killed in 'retaliatory' attacks

Bandera (Mindanao) - - FRONT PAGE - —John Roson

SEVEN members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and a civilian were killed while at least three other persons were injured, as members of the outlawed group conducted attacks in Maguindanao and North Cotabato, following the military bombardment at the Liguasan Marsh.

Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Army 6th Infantry Division commander, said five BIFF members were killed when soldiers clashed with bandits who were about to attack in Datu Unsay, Maguindanao.

"It was a foiled harassment. With our active defensive posture, we engaged the BIFF before they launched an attack against our patrol base in Brgy. Meta around 8:20 p.m.," Sobejana told Bandera in a text message.

Troops recovered the bodies of two slain bandits, an M16 rifle, an M653 rifle with an M203 grenade launcher, magazines, and ammunition.

Capt. Arvin Encinas, Army 6th ID spokesman, said the bodies were identified to be those of bandits Torman Aber and Mansur Mohammad, while one of those who were not recovered was an alias "Mamalo."

Around 9 p.m., BIFF members also tried to attack an Army detachment in Brgy. Limpongo, Datu Hoffer town.

No casualties were reported in the ensuing clash, but after the exhange of fire, two BIFF members on a motorcycle fired an M16 rifle towards a civilian community, killing one person, Encinas said.

Civilian Ricky Udas was brought to the Integrated Provincial Health Office, but expired along the way, he said.

On Tuesday morning, shortly before 4 a.m., two more BIFF members were killed in an encounter with soldiers in Brgy. Olandang, Midsayap, North Cotabato, Sobejana said.

Three civilians, however, were injured in the crossfire, while troops recovered an M16 rifle, two magazines , three grenades, and improvised bomb.

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