Troops repel BIFF bandits in Maguindanao assault
COTABATO CITY – Armed men belonging to the Islamic State-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) tried but failed to overrun two military detachments in Datu Saudi Ampatuan (DSA) town in Maguindanao province on Tuesday evening.
Lt. Melvin Laguting, DSA municipal police chief, said no one was hurt in the attacks but these caused panic among residents.
Armed with shoulderfired rocket-propelled grenades, the men simultaneously attacked the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion (57IB) detachments in ba
rangays Elian and Lower Salbu.
“The gunmen tried to capture the detachments but they moved back when 57IB troopers returned fire using high-caliber firearms,” Laguting said.
Local officials confirmed to military and police authorities that the attackers belonged to the BIFF, who were trying to avenge the death of their comrades in previous encounters with 57IB.
The attack came past midnight when residents near the detachments were still awake as they observed fasting for Ramadan.
The DAS police force has been helping the 57IB monitor BIFF movements in the area.
Brig. Gen. Jose Narciso, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade that has jurisdiction over the 57IB, said he has alerted all Army units under him for possible harassment by the BIFF as the end of the fasting month draws near.
This year’s Ramadan is slated to end either on May 23 or May 24, depending on the sighting of the moon. (PNA)