Military attacks BIFF lair in Maguindanao, kills 2

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    THE military launched air, artillery and ground assault on a camp of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Maguindanao on Monday, leaving two members of the Daesh-inspired group dead.

    Air Force planes and Army artillery assets started dropping bombs on the BIFF lair in Barangay Salman in Ampatuan town around 6 a.m., according to Maj. Arvin Encinas, spokesman of the Zamboanga City-based Western Mindanao Command.

    “We employed all available assets,” Encinas said, without identifying the specific aircraft used in the bombing run.

    “After the air and artillery fire missions, we conducted clearing operation on the ground, leading to an armed encounter,” he added.

    Encinas said the camp was manned by about 40 BIFF men, under one Sallahudin Hassan.

    During clearing operations, troops recovered the bodies of the two slain BIFF men, a Barret caliber 50 sniper rifle, and an M14 rifle.

    The firefight left a soldier dead and another soldier injured.

    Encinas said another soldier was also injured in a firefight with the retreating BIFF men in Barangay Mother Tuayan in Datu Hoffer town.

    Yesterday morning, another soldier died when remnants of the BIFF group attacked a team involved in casualty evacuation in Ampatuan town, said Encinas. He said the BIFF men detonated a bomb during the clash.

    As of yesterday, forces under the Army’s 601st Brigade are continuing with the operations are ongoing against the retreating BIFF men.

    “We will continue the momentum and sustain our gains on this operation in order to safeguard the civilians and put an end to this threat of society,” said 601st Brigade chief Col. Jose Narciso.

    “We lost one brave soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice just to ensure the safety of the community. We pray for his eternal repose, for the fast recovery of two of his comrades, and for the safety of the others who are currently pursuing the remaining enemies,” said Wesmincom chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.