Hunt on vs. BIFF group who killed 2 soldiers in Maguindanao

By Noel Punzalan

May 5, 2020, 9:54 am

<p>Michelin Kamasi map of Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao</p>

Michelin Kamasi map of Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY – A massive pursuit operation is ongoing against a group of terrorists who killed two Army soldiers while wounding another at a community quarantine checkpoint in Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao, the military here said Tuesday.

Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander and concurrent head of Joint Task Force Central, said the incident took place amid the high alert status maintained by local law enforcement units against the Daesh-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

“The BIFF has resorted to hit-and-run tactics due to intense military operations against them in Central Mindanao,” Carreon said.

Those killed were identified as Privates First Class Jermie Ombiang and Vicente Gata, while the wounded was Lyndon Matias, all of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion.

The Army men were supporting the implementation of community quarantine in Barangay Talibadok, Datu Hoffer when fired upon around 9 p.m. Monday.

“A 45-minute firefight ensued with an undetermined number of BIFF casualties that is yet to be determined,” Carreon said.

He said military reinforcements were sent to the area to pursue the BIFF attackers.

In a statement, Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, expressed sadness over the incident and vowed to crush BIFF factions operating in central Mindanao.

"We will make sure that these terrorists, who are obviously desperate to strike back during this time when we are all working to defeat the coronavirus disease 2019, will pay for their treacherous acts," he said. (PNA)