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Gov’t forces seize BIFF lair, explosives in Maguindanao

September 24, 2020 - Thursday 8:09 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image ON ALERT. Government troopers check on vehicles entering and leaving Ampatuan, Maguindanao following the capture of a Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter lair in remote Barangay Saniag of the municipality on Tuesday (Sept. 22, 2020). An alert status has been raised in the area due to anticipated retaliatory attacks from the terror group after a number of its followers were killed in ongoing military operations in the province. (Photo courtesy of PNA Cotabato)

COTABATO CITY – Government forces pursuing Daesh-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao captured a hideout believed to be used by the lawless group as a staging area in Maguindanao, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) here said Wednesday.

The 33rd Infantry Battalion, part of operating units under Joint Task Force Central (JTFC), discovered the abandoned lair Tuesday dawn at Barangay Saniag, Ampatuan town in Maguindanao, said Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, 6ID commander and head of JTFC.

“While scouring the area, ground troops found several anti-personnel mines intended to disrupt the movement of advancing military troops,” Uy said.

Seized at the abandoned lair were improvised bombs with the signature style of the BIFF, bomb-making components, electrical wires, cut nails and metal sheets as shrapnel, and personal belongings of the terrorists who presumably left hastily before government forces arrived.

Uy earlier ordered the pursuit operations against the BIFF who fled from engagement with military forces.

Recently, two BIFF members carrying improvised bombs were killed during focused military operations in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, and another two BIFF bombers were also slain in skirmishes in Surallah, South Cotabato.

Soldiers have been targeting the local terrorists in the hinterlands of the adjoining towns of Datu Hofer, Shariff Aguak, and Ampatuan in Maguindanao to prevent the group from bombing areas in Central Mindanao.

Over the weekend, a Marine trooper was killed and four of his companions were injured when the BIFF set off a roadside bomb along Barangay Limpongo in Datu Hoffer town.

Military officials see it as retaliatory attacks by the BIFF after it suffered heavy casualties in the ongoing military offensive.  Edwin Fernandez