At least 24 alleged BIFF killed in military operation in Maguindanao, Cotabato
More alleged members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were killed during the continued military operation in Southern Philippines, a military official said Tuesday.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, said eight more bandit members were killed during the ongoing combat operation in Maguindanao and Cotabato.
He said one more bandit was killed in a clash in Maguindanao around noontime last Monday while five others died in another firefight in the evening of the same day.
Sobejana said two more BIFF members were killed in another encounter in Cotabato Monday night.
Because of additional fatalities on the BIFF side, the death toll from the operation that began last Sunday rose to a total of 24, including one soldier killed in Monday's clash.
“We had an encounter last night. They were supposed to attack our detachment but we were able to prepare against them so we recovered two body count.In total, there were five of them killed, but they were able to carry three others and left the two at Brgy. Meta Datu Unsay, Maguindanao around 8:20 last night,” he said.
Sobejana added three civilians were wounded during Tuesday morning's encounter at Brgy. Ulandang, Midsayap, Cotabato around 3:55 am.
“Early this morning we had another encounter were two bandits were killed but there are civilians on the crossfire. There was a community on the blocking position. There are three houses. Three civilians were wounded but they are okay not, they are out of danger,” he said.
Sobejana said troops also recovered one M16, two magazines, three grenades, one improvised explosive device (IED), empty shells of M16, two uniforms and one binocular.
Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, the Commanding Officer of the 33rd Infantry Battalion identified the killed soldier as Pfc Garry Quitor, 27, of Pigcawayan, North Cotabato.
“Quitor was part of Alpha Company, 33IB led by 1Lt Alessandro Cruzada that pursued the small band of terrorists in the marshy terrain of Maguindanao,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS