6 BIFF men, soldier killed in Maguindanao clashes

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DATU ODIN SINSUAT, Maguindanao, January 8, 2018 — Six ISIS-inspired terrorists and a soldier were killed in clashes that erupted Saturday night in a mountain village in Maguindanao, the Army here said.

Major General Arnel dela Vega, 6th Infantry Division commander, said the firefight erupted at about 7 p.m. Saturday when about 80 members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) harassed elements of the 64th Reconnaissance Company of the 6th ID stationed in Mt. Firis (Sitio Firis), Barangay Maytumaig, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao.

This prompted the military to launch airstrikes and artillery offensives against the armed men led by Commander Bungos that lasted until about 3 a.m. Sunday.

“The remains of slain terrorists were recovered by government forces and turned over to local officials for immediate burial rites,” dela Vega said in a statement.

A soldier was killed and another was wounded when the BIFF, coming from three different positions, simultaneously fired rockets and shoulder-fired M203 grenades toward the Army station.

Captain Arvin John Encinas, Army’s 6ID spokesperson, said troops on the ground monitored “rebels’ communication” indicating they suffered more casualties than what the Army had recovered.

“We will sustain our focused military operation that gains substantial result,” dela Vega said as he directed his men to always think one step ahead of the enemy.

With the possibility of retaliatory offensives from lawless groups, government forces have remained on high alert status in Maguindanao. (Edwin Fernandez/PNA)

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