BIFF leader, 11 followers slain in Army op in Maguindanao Sur

By Edwin Fernandez

April 23, 2024, 12:55 pm

<p><em>(Infographic courtesy of 6ID)</em></p>

(Infographic courtesy of 6ID)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao del Norte – The leader of one of the three factions of the Moro militant groups allied with ISIS was killed along with his 11 followers in the military’s air and ground assaults Monday in the Maguindanao del Sur town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan.

Among the fatalities are Mohiden Animbang alias Karialan, chairman of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF)-Karialan Faction, and his brother, Saga Animbang, his operations chief, according to Maj. Gen. Alex Rillera, commander of the Army's 6th Infantry Division.

Rillera said the bodies of 12 slain extremists were recovered in a swampy area of Barangay Kitango with 12 assorted high-powered firearms following an hour-long clash.

“The battle site was an open swamp area, and finally, we got him and his men. We have long been running after them,” Rillera said of their 10:30 a.m. operation.

“We hope this will bring about peace in these communities so that development will come to Datu Saudi Ampatuan,” he added.

Rillera recalled that last week, elements of the Army’s First Combat Brigade managed to tail three BIFF members who entered a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) area.  

“We did not pursue them because, with respect to the peace process, we do not want to be peace spoilers. Until early Monday, they were monitored to have moved out of the village, and an encounter ensued,” he said.

Two other BIFF groups – the Bungos and Toraife factions – operate in the Central Mindanao area.  (PNA)