Map of Barangay Elian, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur. (Courtesy of 6ID)

DATU ODIN SINSUAT, Maguindanao Norte – Military and police authorities in Maguindanao del Sur are placed on heightened alert for possible retaliation from an extremist group, whose two members were killed following a clash in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town.

In a statement Monday, Maj. Gen. Alex Rillera, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, identified the fatalities as Muhamadin Salim, 24, and Manan Udza, 27, both of Shariff Saydona Mustapha town, Maguindanao Norte.

They are allegedly members of the Daesh-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Salim and Udza were flagged down Saturday morning by an Army and police team during a checkpoint operation in front of the Army’s 23rd Mechanized Company command post in Barangay Elian, Datu Saudi Ampatuan town.

“Instead of submitting themselves for inspection, the tandem drove off their motorcycle, but they were blocked by the troops manning the choke point,” Rillera, concurrent head of Joint Task Force Central, said.

Rillera said one of the motorcycle-riding men abruptly opened fire, forcing the operating troops to retaliate.

“The exchange of fires resulted in the death of the two lawless elements,” he said.

Soldiers recovered a .45-caliber pistol, an improvised explosive device, and a red Honda XRM motorcycle from the tandem.

The cadavers and recovered items were claimed by their respective families on the same day, Rillera said. (PNA)