25 killed in MILF-BIFF clashes in Maguindanao

By Edwin Fernandez

August 14, 2017, 2:28 pm



 CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao, Aug. 14 –- The Army’s 6th Infantry Division based here reported Monday clashes between Moro armed men wo have  pledged allegiance to ISIS and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) already claimed the lives of 25 people.

Army Colonel Gerry Besana, commander of the 6th Infantry Division Civil Military Operations, said 20 of the fatalities belong to joint forces of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Jamaatul Mujajideen Wal Ansar under Commander Esmail Abdulmalik alias Abu Torayme.

Five MILF fighters under the 108th base command were also killed. Ten MILF were injured, three of whom are in critical condition getting medical treatment at an Army hospital here.

He said fighting erupted August 7 in Barangay Tee and Andavit, both of Datu Salibo, Maguindanao when the BIFF tried to enter an MILF identified area in the village of Tee.

The Army based the number of casualties on the report by GPH-MILF ceasefire monitoring units in Maguindanao.

The Army has been providing artillery support to the MILF against the ISIS inspired group.

As this developed, civilians have fled to safer grounds and are being attended to by local disaster offices in the affected towns of Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, and Datu Piang.

Two other factions of the BIFF, the Karialan and Abdulhaman Bungos have issued separate appeals to both the BIFF and the MILF to cease fighting.

Abu Misri Mama, speaking for the BIFF Bungos faction, said the fighting has affecting civilians who have been displaced by what he described as “nonsense armed struggle.”

“It is not correct when Muslim mujahiddens (freedom fighters) fight each other,” he said. An MILF official who asked not to be named said a “rido” (clan war) is now in effect between the BIFF and MILF. (Edwin Fernandez/PNA)