BIFF attacks Army detachments; no casualties

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    SUSPECTED members of the terror group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters attacked two Army detachments in Maguindanao on Saturday night, the military reported yesterday.

    No soldier was killed or injured in the attacks, said Maj. Homer Estolas, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division based in the province.

    Estolas said the BIFF members first attacked a detachment in Barangay Meta, Datu Unsay town at around 7:45 p.m. on Sunday.

    “The detachment was fired upon with 40 mm rounds which landed in the perimeter of the said detachment,” said Estolas.

    About two hours later, another group of BIFF men opened fired at the Army detachment in Barangay Kalanganan 1 in Cotabato City, using rifles and bombs fired from M203 grenade launchers.

    Estolas said the attack lasted for only several minutes.

    He said troops manning the detachments did not return fire. “We don’t retaliate until we determine their (perpetrators) specific location. It’s dangerous (to retaliate) due to the possibility of unintended casualties,” he said.

    Estolas said the BIFF members harassed the detachments from a distance. “They did not get near because they know our detachments are well-fortified,” he said.

    He also said the BIFF members launched the attacks to divert military focus from its relentless operations against the group.

    Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, chief of the 6th ID chief and concurrent commander of the Joint Task Force Central, commended the troops “for their vigilance and presence of mind during these attacks.” – Victor Reyes

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