BIFF bombmaker neutralized

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao — The military on Monday disclosed that an alleged bombmaker of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters was killed in a clash with government forces in Maguindanao.

According to Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade commander Colonel Oriel Pangcog, government troops were conducting a patrol in the village of Damablac, Talayan, Maguindanao when they encountered about 20 heavily armed BIFF combatants around 1 p.m. on Sunday.

He added that a brief gunfight ensued until the insurgents — led by Khadaffi Abdulatif under the BIFF Bungos faction — fled the scene.

“As they fled, the BIFF mingled with the civilians in Barangay Damablac,” Pangcog said, adding that after the fight, soldiers found a dead BIFF abandoned by his companions on a roadside.

Soldiers also found an improvised bomb composed of two 60 mm mortars with a unit of a two-way handheld radio as a triggering device.

A civilian was caught in the crossfire and later identified as 46-year-old Utain Kalatungan. Soldiers brought him to the Maguindanao provincial hospital for treatment.

Major Gen. Roy Galido, 6th Infantry Division commander, reiterated an earlier warning against the BIFF, saying the “Army is ready to use its might against them,” but its door remains open for those who surrender peacefully.

“The 6th ID is offering peace and the BIFF may avail of it soonest,” Galido, concurrent commander of the Joint Task Force Central, said.

Since January this year, five BIFF have been killed and 154 surrendered to the government in Central Mindanao.

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