(Photo courtesy of AFP Joint Task Force central)
The conflict continues between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao.
The military operation against BIFF leader, Abu Toraipe, started at dawn on Monday, June 11 at Agusan Marsh in the municipality of Pikit .
“Trabaho ng military to secure the civilian and this threat. Ang Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters are the number one threat diyan sa Central Mindanao,” said WestMinCom spokesperson LTC Gerry Besana.
(It is the military’s job to secure the civilian and this threat. The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters are the number one threat in Central Mindanao.)
The Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said 15 BIFF members were killed in the attack, eight were injured from airstrikes and two were captured including bomb expert, Anwar Ali.
There were no reported casualties on the military’s side.
Aside from this, the WestMinCom spokesperson said that the AFP also bombed the improvised explosive device (IED) factory of the Daesh-inspired group.
The clearing operation recovered several firearms and a few explosives.
Besana added that the destruction of the IED factory is a huge accomplishment by the military.
“It is a very significant accomplishment for the joint task force central under the Western Mindanao Command na talagang napakarami ng IEDs na tinamaan. Talagang napakalakas ng sabog doon,” said Besana.
(It is a very significant accomplishment for the Joint Task Force Central under the Western Mindanao Command because of the high number of casualties caused IED explosions. The blasts were really powerful.)
The camp of BIFF on the other hand denied any casualties from their ranks.
“Mga sibilyan ang tinamaan ng airstrike at ang pagkawala ng mga 105 mm Howitzer. Sobra 30 na ang tinamaan nandoon na ang patay. Wala naman kaming pagawaan ng bomba,” said BIFF spokesperson Abu Misri Mama.
(Civilians were hit by the airstrike, and the firing of 105mm Howitzer. More than 30 were killed. Also, we do not have a bomb factory.)
Meanwhile, the AFP assured they are doing their best to avoid collateral damage and it will not affect the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). — Dante Amento| UNTV News & Rescue