AFP, PNP launch manhunt vs. BIFF in Maguindanao roadside bombings

By Edwin Fernandez

January 1, 2018, 8:29 pm

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao -- Joint police and military forces are hunting down an IS-linked Moro armed group who set off two separate improvised roadside bombs that left one police officer dead and seven other government forces injured on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

The separate improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks came at 8 p.m. on December 31 and at 7 a.m. on January 1.

Killed in the 8 p.m. Sunday roadside explosion was Senior Police Officer Max Kaibat. He expired while undergoing medical operation at Maguindanao Provincial Hospital situated few meters away from blast site.

Injured and undergoing treatment in same hospital are P03 Jalison Abdullah, P01 Archie Ansare Amelista, PO1 Ricardo P Almonia, P01 Alimodin K Nuphay and P01 Zainoden Abdullah, all members of Shariff Aguak town police force.

Senior Superintendent Agustin Tello, Maguindanao police director, said in a report that a police car loaded with police personnel were conducting security patrol during the New Years’ Eve revelry in Barangay Poblacion Mother when the IED went off.

Police believed the attack was perpetrated by the IS-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) who had been the subject of offensives since Christmas Day.

Police probers initially theorized the two bombing incidents as a retaliatory attack by the BIFF.

Earlier today, a roadside bomb was set off while an Army truck loaded with soldiers was patrolling Barangay Limpongo, Datu Hofer, Maguindanao, leaving two soldiers injured.

Hit by shrapnel were Privates First Class Nelmar Acaso and John Mark Roquero, both members of the 57th Infantry Battalion.

They were rushed to Maguindanao provincial hospital situated a kilometer away from blast site.

The soldiers were conducting security patrol following Sunday night’s IED attack on police patrol car when another IED exploded at 7:34 a.m.

Police and military officials blamed the outlawed BIFF group under Commander Bungos as the one behind the attacks. (PNA)